“Bird on a Wire” (Live at Montreux 1994) – Johnny Cash

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Cash’s beautiful cover of one of Leonard Cohen’s best and most famous songs. I like this even better than Cohen’s original, mainly because that voice of Cash’s sounds like he really lived these lyrics. This is a live version that’s not too different than the studio version he recorded with Rick Rubin in 1994 for “American Recordings.”

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“The Beast in Me” – Nick Lowe

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A haunting and gorgeous original by Nick Lowe. Lowe’s ex-father-in-law Johnny Cash’s cover is probably the most famous version of this song, but there’s something I find a lot more compelling about this one. Was used to great effect on an episode of “The Sopranos.”