Cash’s Hurt named in top covers list

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Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails track Hurt has been named one of the best-ever covers of all time.

It gained more votes in a BBC poll than covers by the Stranglers, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Buckley, Joe Cocker and Muse – although the Pet Shop Boys’ version of Always On My Mind was voted number one.

Cash recorded Hurt for 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around, produced by Rick Rubin. NIN mainman Trent Reznor admitted in 2008 that he’d had reservations over allowing his “most personal song” to be remade.

He said: “I’d known where I was when I wrote it. I know what I was thinking about. I know how I felt. Hearing it was like someone kissing your girlfriend. It felt invasive.”

But when he saw the video, “it really, really made sense – I thought, ‘What a powerful piece of art.’ I never got to meet Johnny but I’m happy I contributed the way I did. It felt like a warm hug.”

BBC’s covers poll results

  1. Pet Shop Boys: Always On My Mind (original by Brenda Lee, Gwen McCrae)

  2. Johnny Cash: Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)

  3. The Stranglers: Walk On By (Dionne Warwick)

  4. Jimi Hendrix: All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan)

  5. Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

  6. Soft Cell: Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)

  7. Joe Cocker: With A Little Help From My Friends (Beatles)

  8. Sinead O’Connor: Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince)

  9. Muse: Feeling Good (Nina Simone)

  10. Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton)