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Cash’s Hurt named in top covers list

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)

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.