Johnny Cash brought new life and attention to the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt” when he covered it for his 2002 album ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around.’
However, it took some convincing from producer Rick Rubin to get the country icon to cover the song.
Rubin recalled, “I played him the song first, and Johnny just looked at me like I was insane, because the Nine Inch Nails version of the song is very noisy, aggressive… I think I did a demo where I had a guitar player play it, and I said the words the way I imagined him saying it, and then when he heard the lyrics, and he heard the format of what it could be, he said, ‘Let’s try it.’”
Trent Reznor, who wrote “Hurt,” later said once he heard Cash’s cover and saw its haunting video, “That song isn’t mine anymore.”
What rock covers do you think are better than the original?