Saturday, April 23, 2011

THE ROCK SONG OF THE DAY IS: JOAN OSBORNE - ONE OF US

"One Of Us", by Joan Osborne
"One of Us" is a song written by Eric Bazilian (of The Hooters) and originally released by Joan Osborne.

Released in March 1995 on the album Relish and produced by Rick Chertoff, it became a top 40 hit in November of that year.

Bazilian discussed the song in an interview, saying "I wrote that song one night — the quickest song I ever wrote — to impress a girl. Which worked, because we’re married and have two kids. But we were in the middle of writing Joan’s album, which was a group effort with Rick Chertoff and Joan and Rob and I, and I did a demo of “One of Us,” this wacky little demo which I ended up putting as a hidden track on the CD of my first solo record, and I played [it] for them. And it really hadn’t even occurred to me that it was something that Joan might do, but Rick, in his wisdom, asked Joan if she thought she could sing it. And I think it was better that he asked it that way rather than “Do you want to sing it?” Because the answer to that might not have been yes. But she definitely said she could sing it, and we did a little live demo of a guitar and her singing it. And when I got into my car and popped the cassette in, I started practicing the Grammy speech that I should’ve gotten to give."

In 1996, William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League, took issue with the song. Because "even [Joan Osborne's] admirers see something of the sacrilegious in her work", Donohue claimed the song was agenda-driven and danced "awfully close to the line of Catholic baiting". On the other hand, Roch Parisien called the song "a simple, direct statement of faith, honest and unadorned, one framed in a near-perfect chorus and delectable Neil Young-ish guitar riff."


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