NIN closed the night with a slow and smoky cover of Johnny Cash's "Hurt," which earned nonstop cheers from the crowd.
I pop the video in, and wow... Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps... Wow. [I felt like] 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. [Somehow] 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.
— Trent Reznor himself on Johnny Cash's legendary cover of "Hurt"
A hundred covers of this song, nobody sings it like him, not even Elvis.
— Will McAvoy, The Newsroom (the song in question is "Always on My Mind," originally published in 1969, with Presley's version in 1972, and Nelson's in 1982)
"But what most people remember nowadays about that album is that it has the original version of '1985.' Yeah, you know this song. The version you know is by Bowling for Soup."
— 'Todd in the Shadows on SR-71's album "Here We Go Again"