Hurt (3:36)

Cover of American IV: The Man Comes Around

From American IV: The Man Comes Around and 17 other releases

“Hurt” was written by Trent Reznor and first released on Nine Inch Nails’ 1994 album The Downward Spiral. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” was released on his 2002 album, American IV: The Man Comes Around.

Rick Rubin, producer of Cash’s American series and a friend of Reznor’s, suggested the song to Cash. The line “crown of shit” was changed to “crown of thorns”, not only removing profanity from the lyrics, but also more directly referencing Christ. The cover was released on a single with the B-side “Personal Jesus”, a cover of the Depeche Mode single.

Reznor said that when Rubin first asked if Cash could cover his song, he was “flattered” but worried that “the idea sounded a bit gimmicky.” He became a fan of Cash’s version, however, once he saw the music video: “I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning - different, but every bit as pure.”

Johnny Cash’s version was awarded the Country Music Award for “Single of the Year” in 2003. It ranked as CMT’s top video for 2003, #1 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Country Music Videos the following year, and #1 on the Top 40 Most Memorable Music Videos on MuchMoreMusic’s Listed in October 2007.

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Albums featuring this track (18)

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  • Funky-Shit-

    @Yopta_nax gtfo original song is so much better

    19 Mar 5:43pm Reply
  • jvrlopes

    Great cover!

    15 Mar 3:56am Reply
  • understanding0

    one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard [5]

    14 Mar 1:24pm Reply
  • Yopta_nax

    original sucks, one of the best cover song in the universe.

    4 Mar 5:01pm Reply
  • diegodasnovinha

    Hurt makes me remember my neighborhood, when i was a kid... when the things was simple without any responsabilities... that's it!!!!! =)

    25 Feb 11:22pm Reply
  • davidbowiegirl

    Amazing song otherwise but it hurts my ears in the end... too loud.

    5 Feb 6:04pm Reply
  • rocknut1951

    Great stuff

    21 Jan 4:42am Reply
  • geraldinos

    I love you forever, sleep well my brother

    16 Jan 5:55pm Reply
  • Dlartrisky

    I was just brought back to this song... simply nice country music :)

    16 Jan 4:31pm Reply
  • felipetambs

    if i could start again a million miles away

    13 Jan 9:27pm Reply
  • eirhnouki7

    one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard [4]

    9 Jan 5:27pm Reply
  • shaunsayers

    Trent Reznor has gone on record as saying this version is better than his own ...

    8 Jan 6:18pm Reply
  • razor_sharp7

    I thought for the longest time Trent covered this from Cash.

    5 Jan 10:53pm Reply
  • sweatbloodtears

    Props to Trent for writing the original, but I really prefer Cash's version, every piano chord cuts deep

    30 Dec 2014 Reply
  • DaGlausch

    And no, it's not, by any means better than the original. Still great, tho. [2]

    26 Dec 2014 Reply
  • eyesforyoubabe

    the feels

    21 Dec 2014 Reply
  • MentallyDead

    Just... makes you cry..

    8 Nov 2014 Reply
  • triple_chris

    outstanding masterpiece!

    1 Nov 2014 Reply
  • ilovemusix

    Fantastic cover

    1 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Sebastian-

    I just read an article called "Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt' - a Johnny Cash Original". I think this sums it up pretty well. It used to be an anti drug song penned by Trent Reznor. But Cash/Rubin made it a song about Cash's approaching death. In the end, it is a matter of taste, but only Cash's version (especially the video) gives me goosebumps.

    28 Oct 2014 Reply
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