"The One I Love" is a song by American rock band R.E.M. It was released on the band's fifth full-length studio album, Document, and also as a 7" vinyl single in 1987. The song was their first hit single, reaching #9 in the US Billboard Hot 100, #14 in Canada, and later reached #16 in the UK singles chart on its UK release (1991). The song was included in Activision's Guitar Hero World Tour and is in Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades.
The accompanying video's director was artist Robert Longo. The director of photography was Alton Brown, who later became a Food Network chef.
In March 2005, Q magazine placed "The One I Love" at number 57 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
The song is included on R.E.M. Live.
Many listeners who misunderstand the song's meaning have made the song a popular radio dedication to loved ones, relying on the main lyric, "This one goes out to the one I love." However, they missed an ensuing line: "A simple prop to occupy my time"; the song was not particularly a love song. Stipe related in 1987 to Rolling Stone, "I've always left myself pretty open to interpretation. It's probably better that they just think it's a love song at this point." However, in...