Pop-Up Video: One of Us (1995)

Joan Osborne single One of Us
One of Us
Single: Joan Osborne
Album: Relish
Released: November 21, 1995
Songwriter: Eric Bazilian
Producer: Rick Chertoff

"One of Us" was the lead single from Joan Osborne's debut album, Relish. It made number 4 on Billboard's Hot 100. In 2007, the track ranked 54 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s and 10 on the network's 40 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the '90s.

"One of Us" was nominated for three Grammy Awards: Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal. Joan Osbourne was appointed Best New Artist and Relish for album of the year. None of them won. Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" took Song and Record Of The Year, Alanis Morissette won Best Album with Jagged Little Pill, and Hootie & the Blowfish were voted Best New Artist.

Joan Osborne Album Relish

The album version of "One of Us" starts with a snippet of the gospel song "Heaven's Airplane." American folklorist Alan Lomax recorded it on October 27, 1937, for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. Mrs. Nell Hampton of Salyersville, Kentucky, sang the tune.

One of Us (1995) 

"a simple, direct statement of faith, 
honest and unadorned" Allmusic
"One of Us" considers how one might relate to an anthropomorphic God. "Would you call [God's name] to his face?" Roch Parisien from AllMusic wrote of the song: "It's a simple, direct statement of faith, honest and unadorned, one framed in a near-perfect chorus and delectable Neil Young-ish guitar riff."

What If God Smoked Cannabis (1997)

Bob Rivers wrote a parody of this song, "What If God Smoked Cannabis," which imagines the Almighty sparking one up with the everyday folks. Rivers told Songfacts

Bob Rivers Best of Twisted Tunes Vol 2

"How can you be more like one of us than toking up a joint? At the end of that song, the lyrics wrote themselves because Joan Osborne keeps going on with these tag phrases. I felt like I wasn't writing that song. Sometimes when you're writing, you get in the flow."


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