1 Thing


1 Thing

Infobox Single
Name = 1 Thing


Caption = CD 1 cover
Artist = Amerie
Album = Hitch "soundtrack and" Touch
Released = March 22, 2005
Format = CD single, 12" single, digital download
Recorded = Night Flight Recording Studios
(Fort Washington, Maryland)
Sony Music Studios
(New York City, New York)
Genre = R&B, funk, go-go
Length = 3:58
Label = Columbia
Writer = Amerie Rogers, Rich Harrison, Stanley Walden
Producer = Rich Harrison
Certification = Platinum (RIAA)
Last single = "Paradise"
(2003)
This single = "1 Thing"
(2005)
Next single = "Touch"
(2005)

"1 Thing" is an R&B song written by American singer-songwriter Amerie and Rich Harrison for Amerie's second studio album, "Touch" (2005). The song is influenced by go-go rhythms and features a prominent sample of The Meters' 1970 funk recording of "Oh, Calcutta!". Its lyrics focus on an unidentified "thing" that fuels a romantic attraction.

The song was released as "Touch"'s lead single in 2005 (see 2005 in music), and is the only single from the soundtrack to the 2005 romantic comedy film "Hitch". "1 Thing" peaked at number eight in the United States and number four in the United Kingdom, becoming Amerie's first top ten single and her biggest hit to date, also peaking at number one on the U.S. R&B singles chart. Its digital download and ringtone releases were each certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The song earned Amerie a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 2006 Grammy Awards. A remix of "1 Thing" features rapper Eve.

Theme and sound

"1 Thing" was produced by Harrison and is built around a sample of The Meters' 1970 version of the theme song from "Oh! Calcutta!", "Oh, Calcutta!", written by Samuel Walden. Built around The Meters' funky beat-driven percussion, "1 Thing" finds Amerie lamenting on an aspect of a relationship that keeps her satisfied. Even if other factors are less than positive, there is one thing that keeps her hooked ("It's this one thing that's got me trippin..."). Amerie said that the inspiration from the song came from a conversation she had with Harrison "about relationships and how there's always one thing that keeps you attracted to someone. No matter what they do or how they act, there's that one undeniable thing that keeps you coming back."Hall, Rashaun. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1496565/20050203/amerie.jhtml "Amerie Growing Up But Keeping Her Clothes On, Thank You"] . MTV News. February 3, 2005.] She told "Blender" that the "one thing" "could be bringing flowers, or something more ... physical. People think I'm just this good girl, but there are other sides they don't see."

Despite being based on a New Orleans funk sample, the song belies a strong go-go influence. Harrison likened the two based on their heavy use of percussion and chant. Amerie stated, "You don't hear go-go outside of D.C. ... I was like, 'We have to do it in an up-tempo way because when you hear it on the radio in D.C., it's fast.' ... So it's a fresh sound for everybody but people in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area. They [already] know what it is." [Crosley, Hillary. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1500747/20050425/amerie.jhtml Amerie Touches Up Her Go-Go Skills On New Record] . "MTV.com", April 26, 2005. Retrieved February 17, 2008.] The song is composed in the key of B major, moving at a tempo of 100 beats per minute in common time. It uses four-measure phrases with a I-III-II-I-VI chord progression. The first four chords are played on the measure's downbeat, and off-beat syncopation is used for the fifth chord. [Sheet music for "1 Thing". Hal Leonard Corporation. 2005.]

History

In 2004, when working on her second album, Amerie enlisted the services of producer Rich Harrison, who had helped produce and write her first album. In May 2004, Harrison heard "Oh, Calcutta!" for the first time and began working on the beat accompanying the ten-second back-and-forth breakdown between Meters drummer Ziggy Modeliste and guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Harrison said he loved the work of the Meters, especially Modeliste, commenting, "Ziggy, he's crazy."Weiner, Jonah. [http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=1603 "Miss Thing"] . "Blender". June 2005.] He processed the way the breakdown could be "flipped", added a bongo drum, a cowbell, and a ride cymbal, and sent it to Amerie. According to Harrison, they wrote and finished the song in two to three hours.

Amerie's manager, Len Nicholson, felt the song was "the single" to release. When executives at Amerie's label, Columbia/Sony Urban Music, heard "1 Thing", they felt that the song's choruses needed to be "bigger". They recommended that more music be added to the percussion-focused beat, but Harrison and Amerie replied that adding more to the beat would overpower the song.Ratcliffe, Fahiym. "Amerie: The Interview". "Sun Reporter", volume 62, issue 19, page 4. May 12, 2005.] Harrison and Amerie returned to the studio several times to rework the track. Each time they submitted a new version to the label, Columbia told them the song sounded unfinished but was unable to specify what should be changed. The label continued to refuse to release "1 Thing"; in Amerie's words, "People just weren't getting it".

Later in 2004, six months after recording "1 Thing", Amerie and Harrison leaked it to U.S. radio stations in an attempt to get it released officially. The response from DJs and listeners was positive, and it consequently received airplay across the country. Columbia Records attempted to suppress the song because it was an unofficial release, and because Jennifer Lopez (another artist on the label) had expressed interest in recording the song for her own album, "Rebirth".Shipley, Al. [http://www.stylusmagazine.com/review.php?ID=3014 "Amerie - Touch"] . "Stylus Magazine". May 13, 2005.] Radio stations refused to retract the song from their playlists, and Columbia eventually began promoting "1 Thing" as a single, making it a last-minute addition to the "Hitch" soundtrack. Lopez settled on another Harrison-produced, funk-infused track, the Usher outtake "Get Right".

Critical reception

"1 Thing" received acclaim from music critics. It received second place behind Kanye West's "Gold Digger" on the 2005 Pazz & Jop list, a survey of several hundred music critics conducted by Robert Christgau. [ [http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/pnj/pjres05.php "The 2005 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll"] . "The Village Voice". February 7, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] In its review of "Touch", "Rolling Stone" named the song "an early front-runner for song-of-the-summer status." [Werde, Bill. [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/7184849 "Touch : Amerie : Review"] . "Rolling Stone". May 19, 2005. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] "Blender" ranked "1 Thing" number 191 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". It praised the song's "cascading drums…and Amerie's frantic, top-of-her-range vocals". [ [http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?ID=1764 "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: 151-200"] . "Blender". October 2005. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] Pitchfork Media stated that Harrison "knows something about horns, big glorious ascending heavenly anthemic horns" and "drums, huge sweaty riotous back-and-forth second-line old-school Clyde Stubblefeldsic drums." [ [http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/track_review/30306-1-thing "1 Thing"] . Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] Calling it "a pretty fucking smart move smart move to wrap perfect pop around a question that stays open all night", Pitchfork listed the song as the second best single of 2005, behind Antony and the Johnsons' "Hope There's Someone". [Daniel, Drew. [http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/38519-top-50-singles-of-2005 "Top 50 Singles of 2005"] . Pitchfork Media. December 30, 2005. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] Allmusic described "1 Thing" as being "just as exciting" as "Oh, Calcutta!" for how it " [flails] all over the place with unbound joy". [Kellman, Andy. [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:jpdkyl45xpvb "Touch > Overview"] . Allmusic. Retrieved August 29, 2008.]

Commercial performance

"1 Thing" became Amerie's most commercially successful song. [http://wm05.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:hzfoxq90ldfe~T51 "Amerie > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles"] . Allmusic. Retrieved January 11, 2008.] In the United States, it debuted at the bottom of the "Billboard" Hot 100 on February 12, 2005. The song gradually climbed the chart over a ten week period, peaking at number eight, and exited the chart after a total of twenty weeks. [http://acharts.us/song/712 "Amerie - 1 Thing - Music Charts"] . αCharts.us. Retrieved January 11, 2008.] It received play from urban contemporary stations and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in late April 2005. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=367&cfn=Hot+R%26amp%3BB%2FHip-Hop+Songs&ci=3058224&cdi=8314603&cid=05%2F07%2F2005 "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs"] . "Billboard". Retrieved August 29, 2008.] "1 Thing" also charted on the Rhythmic Top 40 and Pop 100, reaching numbers thirteen and twenty-eight respectively. The Recording Industry Association of America awarded a gold certification to its digital download in October 2005, and another gold certification to its ringtone release in June 2006. [ [http://riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php "Searchable Database"] . Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 21, 2008.] The song received a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 48th Grammy Awards but lost to Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together". [ [http://www.mtv.com/news/topics/g/grammy/2006/nominees/index.jhtml "48th Annual Grammy Awards"] . MTV News. Retrieved August 29, 2008.]

The song was successful in the British Isles. On the UK Singles Chart, "1 Thing" debuted at number four in May 2005. It was unable to reach a higher position and spent fourteen weeks on the chart. The song ended the year as the thirty-eighth best-selling single in the UK. [ [http://www.bpi.co.uk/pdf/BestSellingSingles01-05.pdf "Best Selling Singles 2005"] (PDF). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] In Ireland, the song debuted at number ten on the Irish Singles Chart. It climbed to number six in two weeks, remaining on the chart for another nine weeks. "1 Thing" was successful in continental Europe, where it peaked at number thirteen on the European Hot 100 Singles chart. [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=349&cfgn=Singles&cfn=European+Hot+100+Singles&ci=3059270&cdi=8354733&cid=06%2F18%2F2005 "European Hot 100 Singles"] . "Billboard". Retrieved January 11, 2008.] It reached the top ten in Denmark, Finland, and Norway; the top twenty in Belgium and the Netherlands; and the top forty in France, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Video, remixes, covers, and other uses

The music video for "1 Thing", directed by Chris Robinson and Amerie, revealed to the public the singer's sexual side. It focuses on her dance routines, featuring her as a go-go dancer in various setups, intercut with footage from the film "Hitch". Amerie co-directed the video with Chris Robinson after she approached him with the video's concept in mind. [DJ Vlad. "Hot in Here". 2005.] The two collaborated again when directing the music video for the following single, "Touch".

The song's only official remix features guest vocals from rapper Eve,Reid, Shaheem and Bland, Bridget. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1499585/20050405/amerie.jhtml "Amerie Shoots Down Goody-Goody Image, Says 'I'm Not A Prude'"] . MTV News. April 3, 2005.] and an alternate version of the music video was created for it. Amerie that said she chose Eve to appear on the remix because most other female R&B singers were accompanied by male rappers, and that Eve "epitomizes that whole independent fearless female doing her thing. She's fashionable and very much a woman even though she definitely has a lot of attitude, the strength that most would attribute to men. ... With '1 Thing' being such an aggressive track, it was perfect to see two females really doing it." [Reid, Shaheem. [http://www.mtv.com/bands/a/amerie/news_feature_050509/ "Amerie: Hands-On Personal Touch"] . MTV News. May 9, 2005.] A second remix features Fabolous, a third features B.G., and little-known Torontonian producer Satya Rock arranged an extended underground remix to feature E-40, Method Man, Lyrics Born, One Be Lo, Dres, Joe Budden, Talib Kweli, Beanie Sigel, Edan, and MF DOOM. Siik remixed "1 Thing" by using instrumentals from a song by Japanese producer Nujabes. "Stylus Magazine" listed Siik's remix seventh on its list of the top ten remixes of 2005 and commented that "it's enough to warrant a whole change of venue, from the sizzling pep of the dance floor to the silk luxury of the bedroom." [Cunningham, John M. [http://www.stylusmagazine.com/feature.php?ID=2064 "Top 10 Remixes of 2005"] . "Stylus Magazine". December 30, 2005. Retrieved September 10, 2008.] Most of the unofficial remixes were released on mixtapes, and Amerie said that she liked them all, particularly those by Fabolous, B.G., and Juelz Santana. [Reid, Shaheem. [http://www.mtv.com/bands/m/mixtape_monday/032105/ "Mixtape Monday"] . MTV News. March 21, 2005.]

Lauryn Hill sampled "1 Thing" during the second and last part of "Doo Wop (That Thing)" during live performances. [Reid, Shaheem. [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1523879/20060207/fugees.jhtml "Fugees Kick Off Grammy Week With Street-Party Concert"] . MTV News. February 7, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] Girls Aloud used the song as an interlude in performances of its 2004 single "Love Machine" during its 2006 Chemistry Tour. [Girls Aloud. "The Greatest Hits Live". Universal Music Group. November 13, 2006.] Foo Fighters member Dave Grohl showed the video for "1 Thing" during "24 Hours of Foo", during a segment in which each member of the band presented one song that they considered their "guilty pleasure". Alternative rock band Elbow covered the song in a comedic fashion for an August 2005 performance on BBC Radio 1's "Live Lounge". [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/jowhiley/galleries/299/6/ "Elbow - 26 Aug 05"] . BBC. Retrieved August 29, 2008.] "1 Thing" was used in the PlayStation 2 karaoke game "SingStar R&B".

Track listings

;CD 1
#"1 Thing" (radio edit) – 4:02
#"1 Thing" (radio version featuring Eve) – 3:34

;CD 2
#"1 Thing" (radio edit) – 4:02
#"1 Thing" (remix featuring B.G.) – 4:13
#"Talkin' to Me" (Mark Ronson Sunshine remix - no loop) – 4:49
#"1 Thing" (instrumental) – 3:59
#"1 Thing" (video) – 4:01;12" single
*Side A:
#"1 Thing" (album version) – 4:01
#"1 Thing" (instrumental) – 3:59
#"1 Thing" (a cappella) – 3:55
*Side B:
#"1 Thing" (remix featuring Eve) – 4:13
#"1 Thing" (remix featuring B.G.) – 4:13

Charts

{| class="wikitable"!align="center"|Chart (2005)!align="center"|Peak
position
-
align="left"|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart
align="center"|12
-
align="left"|Norwegian Singles Chart
align="center"|10
-
align="left"|Swedish Singles Chart
align="center"|30
-
align="left"|Swiss Singles Chart
align="center"|28
-
align="left"|UK Singles Chart
align="center"|4
-
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Hot 100
align="center"|8
-
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks
align="center"|1
-
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Pop 100
align="center"|28

References

succession box
before = "Hate It or Love It"
by The Game featuring 50 Cent
title = U.S. "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks number-one single
years = April 30, 2005
after = "Slow Down" by Bobby Valentino


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