Cover vs. Original

Hurt


One of the best cover versions i know

- ScottyTM, Bonn, Deutschland, 30.10.2005


Johnny Cash
2002

vs.

Nine Inch Nails
1995

CD-Cover: Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around 62.7 % 37.3 % CD-Cover: Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Results of the voting: Cover versus Original
Click on the cover for listening Click on the cover for listening
Johnny Cash 9973 Votes Nine Inch Nails

Comments about Hurt:

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One and the same song. Trent himself said that he was surprised by the bridge between himself and Cash and felt goose bumps. I am a very very big NIN fan, but prefer the Cash version. On some reflection of both artist's stage in life, Trent was suicidal at the time while Johnny was facing his own mortality without a choice. I think more people feel affected by Cash's version because there is more helplessness. Trent at the time was deciding to either take his life or live on. Johnny doesn't have the choice anymore. In any case, look at it as one artist using the ink of another's to paint a picture.
- Richard, London, England, 11.06.2007
"Wow. I just lost my girlfriend because that song isn't mine anymore" - Trent Reznor, Alternative Press #194 Sept. 2004
- Billy Tirelag, Comely, United States, 04.06.2007
I think there's too much anger here over debating a song that's already about pain, suffering, regret, and remorse. I can't imagine you who show such anger are more than teenagers, or are at least acting like them. I'm neither a Nine Inch Nails fan, nor a country music fan.

I've come to adore and respect Johnny Cash and his music for his lifetime of artistry and obvious dedication to his craft. I've listened to both versions. I don't know enough about Trent Reznor's problems to say I can empathize with his song as he performs it. Having read a few books about JC, and of course, more recently, the movie, a simple testimony to JC's life... I can more easily become quite affected with his performance of this song.

People write songs, plays, movies, business plans... that are performed by another far better than the writer could have done his/herself because they bring their life, passion, perspective, and experience to the creation. It is not an insult to the author or the performer to say one could do it better than the other.

I believe that it is a tribute to Trent Reznor's song that JC chose to cover it, and that so many more people could identify with it once JC performed it on his album/in this video. After 50 years, the man still wants to portray his life through music for us to enjoy/experience. Even if you don't like country, you can do nothing less but honor and respect such fervent lifelong dedication and talent.
- Gwydion MacGregor, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 20.03.2007
Cash has turned the song into a ballad. just talking line after line making me more and more pissed off. NIN perform the song perfectly changing the vocals with the music and mood. Cash and his shit crackly monotone voice Fucked it.
- Shagga, Brisbane, Australia, 22.02.2007
NIN!!! I love Cash but, that album of covers is depressing. He sounded old, frail and dying (which he was). I perfer to remember him in his glory days. Kudos for picking great covers though.
- Badphish419, Atlanta, United States, 21.02.2007
Everything that JC did in the final years has a ring of authenticity in it that few, even the authors of the many songs which could be questioned (In My Life, Hurt, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, etc.) could muster. Johnny was an artist from the time when a previously released song wasn't considered a "cover" because the recording industry was young, and the music industry until just a few decades earlier was about sheet music, and therefore ABOUT interpretation. Many of his early covers (It Ain't Me, Babe, etc.) were crap because it was just a popular song, and he didn't have the depth or flexibility to pull it off. In his later years, he was so deep a presence that he could pull off even a trite and cynical song like "Personal Jesus" and make it sound like a weathered old hynm... because to Johnny Cash, it was. He picked songs that he could apply Johnny Cash to, and therefore brought his history, personality and depth to.

As far as the criticism about the lyric change, "crown of thorns" is not just a Christ reference. It is a personal tweaking of the self-loathing tone of the original lyric. It does not suggest sophomoric (and dare I say it EMO-ish) wallowing in your own filth, but suggests a more profound self-punishment combined with actual justice for wrongs done. The piercing of a hundred thorns also rhymes strongly with the hundred track-marks of the heroin addict, and to me is a brilliant revision.
Finally as a personal preference, the building guitar drone in the NiN version seems to be a reference to the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" which is not only appropriate, but the effect in both songs annoys the hell out of me and makes both nearly unlistenable.
- entre nous, denver, United States, 09.02.2007
Can you say "Elvis"? Can you say "Beatles"? Okay now, let's all say... "Johnny Cash".
Don't compare these guys to Johnny Cash.
- David, Grapevine TX, United States, 04.02.2007
its gay lol...
- ricky, sayre ok, United States, 12.01.2007
The song itself is packed full of emotion, I just prefer the hear Johnny Cash sing it. Very powerful song. I heard the guy from Bauhaus do it with Reznor and it was incredible as well
- Martin, Atlanta, United States, 25.12.2006
I love both versions of the song. BUT. As much as this will "hurt" me to say this, as I love NIN, I have to give it to the Man in Black -- raw emotion and pain. However, I do not like the change in lyrics (crown of thorns instead of crown of shit).
- Todd B., Buffalo, NY, United States, 12.12.2006
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