Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Here, Have Some Cash!

It isn't often that the cover of a song outshines the original. Especially when the original song was actually really good and was incredibly popular. But leave it to ol' Johnny Cash to take a popular song, and make it his own, maybe even to the point that some may think it is the original.

"Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails was an emotionally powerful and authentic song. You could really feel Trent Reznor's pain and struggle. It did a great job of capturing the psychological scars and years of addiction that have clearly ripped away at Reznor. I've always loved the song, especially when I'm in one of the dark, moody places that creative types sometimes find themselves in. NIN creates really raw and innovative music that always tugs deep at your emotions. I like them. I really do.

But Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" blows away the original. Johnny barged into Reznor's house, drank all his OJ, poured whiskey all over the furniture, and ran away with Reznor's baby. Because "Hurt" is now a Johnny Cash song, because he owned it that hard. The song is just jammed with power, emotion, and authenticity. You're talking about a man that was plagued with decades of hard living and was tormented by the bottle and bad decisions. He sang this song after he lost almost everyone close to him, and was now trying to cling to his own life. The words may have been originally written by Reznor, but they always belonged to Cash.

Plus you know, it is Johnny Cash. The man is a legend, and he knows how to rock out the good. This is probably one of his best songs, even if it is a cover. It is the type of song that can drive me to tears even while I'm bobbing my head along with it. It really is an anthem for those scarred by emotional turmoil and life destroying addictions, but also a song that still can leave an emotional impact on those who are relatively at peace with their current lives.

No matter how you want to analyze it, I think it is a pretty awesome tune, and definitely one of the best covers of all time.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:16 am

    Tim Teakle via Facebook:

    this is misleading...send me a cheque to make up for it..

    ReplyDelete
  2. It delivered exactly what it promised.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:38 am

    Tim Teakle via Facebook:

    curse you and your witty wittiness...

    ReplyDelete