Today I was listening to Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and it once again made me marvel how an artist could take someone else's song and make it so much greater (in my opinion, your mileage may vary). In principle the original should be the definitive version because it's the one with the greatest connection to the artist who composed it but we all know many examples where this simply isn't the case. I'm curious about covers that blow away the originals and why, what makes them better? So for the example I just gave, here's why: "Hurt" was first performed by Nine Inch Nails and then covered by Johnny Case. Why Cash's is better: Emotional impact. NIN / Trent Reznor performs it like he's numb. It's about his addiction and it's personal and has an intensity to it, it's good. But not great. Cash's take on it, though, wow! He conveys the soul of a man knowing he's at the end of his life and looking back on how he lived it, filled with sadness, regret and loss. Reznor, who wrote the song, tells you he has pain in his version. Cash makes you feel the pain. Amazing. Anyone have any cover that really inspire you in a way that the original never could?