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Cash’s Hurt named in top covers list

Icon Johnny’s take on NIN classic beats Stranglers, Hendrix, Buckley, Cocker and Muse in poll

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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