Ladies and gentlemen, your seats please. The fight is on. But which version of the legendary song is best? Have you ever had a really terrible day, the kind of day where you feel so completely alone? Your friends have taken the face of enemies. Everything you believed in seems to have disappeared. No one else has ever been this sad, been this lonely. Hurt is a perfect storm of musical talents combined to make a song so strong it will either break your heart, or fix a broken one.
A song of that power and magnitude is rare. It is a man desperate, lost in the world of drugs — stuck reliving his hurts with an addiction. The video depicts a great long life, filled with pain, love and regret. I have outmost respect for Reznor for writing such a timeless song that has transcended genres and generations to allow for reinterpretation and multiple meanings for different musicians and listeners.
That is the mark of a great songwriter. The Nine Inch Nails version has an entirely different connotation that speaks to a different audience. Cash has a tone of redemption; he is a man that is at the end of his life that is sending out a message to make life beautiful, and not to have regrets.
The power of the song lies within its intoxicating tone, as soon as you hear the first bar, the song has you. You are taken into a world of extreme sadness, into a world meeting its end. You meet a man looking for redemption, to change his life—but it is too late. He would give everything up to go back and do it all over, simply to live his life, to have more time. Every action, every decision led to pain, whether it be to himself or those he loved. Although it was tragedy that inspired him, it was tragedy that robbed him of his happiness and faith in himself.
There is no interpretation needed to decipher the fact that Cash is an obvious creative artist and intensely deep-thinker. He reflects not only on the sadness of his life, but of sadness itself.
The sadness of a lifetime of memories that will vanish. Cash implies that life is fleeting; everything that we endure or experience is temporal. The world will still continue on, with or without us. Some may say this song reads like a suicide note, with notes on depression. If you look deeper, you will find this song is a message of wanted hope, someone finding a reason to live. A man so lost in his sadness he feels the world is moving by as he stands still.
Actions done by others that you deem as unforgivable may need to be forgiven in order for you to find your own peace, to rid your heart of pain. In such sadness and despair, hope can be found.
No one is ever truly a lost cause; hope should never be written off and disregarded. We have one life; Hurt reinforces the notion to make that life everything we want it to be. Which version of the song do you prefer? Or like Lisa do you feel that both artists have managed to make this one song their own? Leave us a comment and let us know. All words by Lisa Lunney. You can read more from Lisa on LTW here. A cover cannot be better than the original. It can be more interesting. It can be different. I have never left a comment on an online forum but this is ludicrous.
Spell correctly and clean your ears. What does that have to do with anything? What you say is true and can be applied to most of covers but not to this one. Johny Cash gave life to this song! I have listened to this song so many times NiN is great but Johnny cash brings this song to life with emotion every time I listen to it I think of my misdeeds throughout my life and the best friend I lost to my actions.
I didnt feel this way when i listened to the NiN version. Cover by Garrett Williamson. Art is subjective. Hence subjectivity and why the author asked which version we prefer. It was in short a complete hit both on and off the air. The band back this feeling up with an ultra stripped back almost mechanically played version of the tune with painfully frenetic solo that definitely gives point to the lyrics.
In short Devo took a great song and indeed not only made it better but like Johnny Cash and Hurt took it right to where it should have been in the first place. And when it does there is no mistaking it for what it is. I agree with your comments completely — Devo is a great example of another.
I also like Jose Feliciano versions of songs that other came out with 1st much to my husbands chagrin — lol. This is old comment but although I agree with you for most covers vs. All Along the Watchtower is discussed above already. We all have favorites, and versions which we like better and sometimes we can like both versions equally or one version one time more and another version the next time more, whose to say which version is better or best?
Only you can decide that for you! That is ludicrous! What is better is completely subjective to the listener, as such, certainly a cover can be better. It never gained much traction and was basically a b-side track. By default, any song sounds better than when it is performed by NIN, surely. Cash is a musical colossus. The Johnny Cash version has , for me, more vulnerability. If you know anything about his life at all he grew as a performer after meeting June Carter and the Carter Family.
In the early days say mid fifties to sixties you were lucky if he showed up to his shows. He did not really break out until cleaning up his life and getting off pills and booze. I saw him more than a few times. This man was not coasting. After June died he did kind of lose interest in many things. He nailed this song. It could almost be his farewell song. Did not like NIN. No soul or passion. No personal connection. Man, I feel sorry for you having to go through life, spending it each day being under these sort of misconceptions. You are either completely not understanding Mr.
Cash, or you have never spent time with his music. Now you have proven yourself a fool in this topic. I do prefer Johnny Cash version. His arragement of it is more clearly from the technical point of view, also his aging voice it gives it that special touch. I do not like NIN music in general, so I may be bias. NIN arragement is less polished, and his voice is not great.
His voice does not have the same emotion. I have heard a couple of NIN versions video, from the album, in concert , every one sounds quite different. Having said that, the song is NIN song. Johnny Cash just made a great sond greater! You cant honestly think that? Agreed Sir, I loved Cash version first, listened to NIN version was not impressed, however after a couple of listens it means more to me than the wonderful Cash version.
Johnny Cash. I am not a country fan, or on some Johnny Cash bandwagon. You can hate on him if you want, but he man had talent. Going back to NIN for the song after that was like trying to eat a turd after having awesome Cake! I hear the comment that a song cannot be sung better than the original artist and that is just not true.
Johnny put feeling and soul into it. NIN just put words into it.