...We are the Knights Who Say "NIN"!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
But yeah, I'm a Nine Inch Nails fan, and it would be Bowie who turned me on to the wonderful world of Reznor.
There are similarities to "1.Outside", especially with "The Hearts Filthy Lesson" in most of NIN's work. I'd recommend "Pretty Hate Machine" and "The Downward Spiral" as must-haves for anyone who wants to get into NIN.
As for the original version of "Hurt", it's an average NIN tune, but a spectacular Johnny Cash tune. According to Mark Romanek, who directed the music video for "Hurt", as well as the videos for Bowie's own "Jump They Say" and NIN's "Closer", Cash's version of "Hurt" moved Reznor to tears.
Not suprising, really. That song gets to me every time...
Cash's is definately the superior version. NIN's is slower, and in a completely different key. Even though Reznor wrote it, the emotion is much less powerful, ironic because Cash really sings it like he wrote it, meaning every word. Also, there's a slight tweaking of the lyrics, since Cash didn't want to say "shit". The song doesn't really pick up until around the chorus or so, and then it sounds like something out of a modern-day Western soundtrack. I don't like how the song ends though, when Reznor gets to the line "I would find a way", but that's just my own personal taste.
God is an American.