Monday, April 28, 2014

X Stands For Crossover: Personal Jesus

As hard as I tried, I couldn't come up with a song that starts with X. I've racked my brain for weeks with no luck, so I decided to write about something I enjoy when it comes to music, crossover songs. As I mentioned in my I post, I learned about the concept of cover songs at a young age. I have mixed feelings on them in general. When it sounds a lot like the original version, I often think of it as a bit of a rip off. My favorite type of cover song is when it crosses over into a different genre and is given it's own new sound, while still remaining recognizable. There are some punk covers of songs from other genres that I think are awesome, Somebody To Love by MXPX and Baby One More Time by Bowling For Soup are a couple that come to mind. I like the idea of a song being introduced to a new generation of listeners and getting a second life, so to speak. Often this will lead to listeners of the cover to look into the original artist and that's cool too!

I was a kid in the 80's so it wasn't until the next decade that I became familiar with Depeche Mode's original version of Personal Jesus. From the first time I heard it, I recognized it as something awesome. It's intense and dark and always made me ponder what exactly it means to be someone's own personal Jesus. It's a classic 80's song and I think it set the stage for a lot of music that came after it.

The next version I heard was Marilyn Manson's cover. It's my favorite by far. It takes the feeling of the original and makes it even darker with the industrial sound. I listen to it when I'm angry or when I'm feeling like a bad ass and often when I'm running. The video is creepy, it takes the song to a whole new level but I like it.

Johnny Cash recorded a version of Personal Jesus for his 2002 album American IV, which is mostly covers. This album was released just a year before his death so I think that gives the song a bit more meaning for me. This version is so good. It's acoustic and much simpler than the other versions but Cash's voice adds something to it that no one else can.

There's a huge number of versions of Personal Jesus available on iTunes including jazz, string quartet and techno versions. I even found a lullaby for babies! The song has appeal across years, musical genres and lifestyles. That's what a true crossover is, in my opinion. It's something anyone can love and relate to.


  1. I like how you got creative with the letter X! Great blog entry. I've heard the Johnny Cash version (American IV is one of my favorite albums), but I never bothered to figure out who did the original version. Now I know.

  2. I'm not very familiar with these songs but I liked your take on songs getting a second those kinda songs too.Thanks for visiting my blog post earlier.

  3. knowing you listen to marilyn manson makes me loves you even more <3
    some great covers by johnny on american IV.. one of my fav covers is of berlin's 'metro' by system of a down