SONG: One (is the Loneliest Number) (penitential cover)

SONG: “One (Is The Loneliest Number)”.

ARTIST: grant, featuring Sebastian Balfour. (Originally by Harry Nilsson.)

SOURCE: It doesn’t have a research source. It’s a penitential cover of a haunting song by Harry Nilsson that Three Dog Night turned into a prog anthem, which Aimee Mann turned into stunning reclamation project. Nilsson still wins.

ABSTRACT: I’ve been a penitential cover* behind for months and months. I first had the idea of doing this song in something like this way years ago, in fact. It’s such a peculiar little song – a kind of lament bass behind a meditation on number theory, or a heartbroken projection into mathematics… what *is* he thinking, anyway? The existential grief of binary? Two can be as bad as one.

It makes sense, though, doesn’t it? Instinctively? Yes? No?

This recording kind of shows off all the weaknesses of my not-really-monitoring setup (a pair of Koss Portapro headphones with no foam covers plugged right into the laptop). But still. It’s an a capella counting song. I got my son (he’s 10!) to record some numbers, then whacked that into a bassline and then did some counting myself. He’s awesome.

Maybe the bridges would have sounded “better” with a guitar doing the tricky descending bit in the G. But nah. One! One! One! One!

I was also tempted to stick in a “number-number-number-number” to bounce along on the eighth notes after the first bridge. But nah. There’s enough going on in there.


* A cover song done in suffering as penance for recording an original late.