50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

We've been talking about the most hauntingly beautiful covers. Perhaps the daddy of the pack is Johnny Cash's version of Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt'. Cash died 10 years ago this week. We asked you for your cover suggestions and here are 30 of the best starting with Ryan Adams' ‘Wonderwall’. "I never got my head round this song until I went to see him play it," said Noel Gallagher at the time.

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Added: 6 Sep 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Jeff Buckley – ‘Hallelujah’ Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen is that rare thing: a cover better than its original. With a falsetto that'll give you goosebumps on the palms of your hands, "it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah" is a wail you'll never forget.

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Added: 14 Jan 2011

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Sinead O’Connor – ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ Sinead O’Connor’s heart-rending cover of Prince’s track is widely accepted to be better than the original. The unplanned tears in the video only adds to the power of O’Connor’s performance.

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Added: 8 Dec 2011

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Nirvana – ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ – Live Version 'In The Pines' has been around since the 19th century, reversioned and covered by a wide spectrum of artists from Lead Belly to Joan Baez and Dee Dee Ramone to Kid Cudi. It was Nirvana's turn to shake off the dust in 1994 with their interpretation for MTV Unplugged. Kurt Cobain's screaming last verse is especially moving.

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Added: 10 Sep 2013

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Bat For Lashes – ‘I’m On Fire’ Another oft-covered song, Bruce Springsteen's 'I'm On Fire', is taken apart by Bat For Lashes and turned into a long, yearning howl.

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Added: 28 Sep 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Bat For Lashes – ‘I’m On Fire’ Another oft-covered song, Bruce Springsteen's 'I'm On Fire', is taken apart by Bat For Lashes and turned into a long, yearning howl.

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Added: 16 Dec 2010

Photo: Jenn Five/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

James Blake – ‘Limit To Your Love’ The song that made Blake famous may have been a cover, but it introduced Blake's brazen use of space and bass. "There's a limit to your love / Like a waterfall in slow motion / Like a map with no ocean / There's a limit to your love" he sighs before breaking out XXL, extra-strength wobble-board dub.

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Added: 9 Sep 2013

Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Cat Power – ‘Blue’ Chan Marshall made a couple of albums out of cover songs, 'The Covers Record' and 'Jukebox'. There are many to choose from but the one that hits the spot is her rendition of Joni Mitchell's 'Blue'. She turns it into a morning-after whisper sung on some foggy Miami seafront as the buzz of "acid, booze and ass" wears off.

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Added: 22 Jul 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Bob Dylan – ‘Moonshiner’ "I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home/And if you don't like me, well, leave me alone/I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry/And the moonshine don't kill me, I'll live til I die" goes the old folk song. Sung by many, Bob Dylan tells the story on his Bootleg Series with a rare magic.

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Added: 20 Jan 2012

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Sonic Youth – ‘Superstar’ Sonic Youth covered The Carpenters song of romantic loss, loneliness and passive aggression on tribute album 'If I Were A Carpenter' in 1994. It also featured in the film 'Juno'.

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Added: 12 Jul 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Glen Campbell – ‘Wichita Lineman’ I'm not sure whether this one counts but it has to be mentioned. Written by Jimmy Webb, it was Glen Campbell's version of 'Wichita Lineman' in 1968 that brought it mainstream success. Stuart Maconie called it the "greatest song ever composed" and it's hard to argue with that.

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Added: 8 Jun 2011

Photo: Tom Oxley/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Grizzly Bear – ‘He Hit Me’ The Crystal’s ode to domestic abuse has been referenced by everyone from Amy Winehouse to the Batman comics. Grizzly Bear’s slowed and stripped back version leaves a sense of poignancy lingering behind.

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Added: 6 Dec 2011

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

June Carter Cash – ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ The popular hymn was written by her mother, but it gains something so much more from June Carter Cash’s folky vocals and gentle guitar. It was often performed as a duet between Johnny and June.

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Added: 11 Sep 2013

Photo: Rachel Carr/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Yo La Tengo – Take Care Taken from Big Star’s third album, Yo La Tengo’s cover of ‘Take Care’ was available on their 2003 album ‘Summer Sun’. Ira Kaplan’s moody vocals added to the atmospheric instrumental, taking it to another level of chilled.

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Added: 6 Oct 2010

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Tricky – Black Steel Tricky covered Public Enemy’s ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos’ for his debut album ‘Maxinquaye’, replacing the stripped back rap of the original with female vocals over pounding drums and guitars.

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Added: 9 Jan 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Johnny Cash – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face The Man In Black’s rendition of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hurt’ is probably one of the most famous covers, but his cover of Roberta Flack’s version is also featured on American 1V: The Man Comes Around, and is chokingly emotional.

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Added: 11 Sep 2013

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Billie Holiday – Gloomy Sunday ‘Gloomy Sunday’ has been dogged by urban legends since it’s composition. Dubbed the ‘Hungarian Sucicide Song’ after several people jumped into the Danube holding the sheet music, Billie Holiday’s version was banned by the BBC.

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Added: 12 Sep 2013

Photo: Getty

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Hanne Hukkelberg – ‘Break My Body’ Taken from the Pixies’ debut album ‘Surfer Rosa’, Hanne Hukkelberg’s cover of ‘Break My Body’ is a half surreal, half triumphant declaration.

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Added: 12 Sep 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

James Blake – A Case Of You In a step away from his usual electronic sound, James Blake’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s classic is a beautiful acoustic track featuring just his voice and a piano.

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Added: 7 Feb 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Adele – ‘Make You Feel My Love’ Another case of the cover overtaking it’s original, Adele’s voice somehow much more suited to the feel of this love song than Bob Dylan’s scratchy-throated version. It’s also been covered by Billy Joel and Garth Brooks, but Adele took it Platinum on her debut album ‘19’.

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Added: 25 Feb 2013

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Patti Smith – ‘Crystal Ship’ ‘Crystal Ship’ has been covered by everyone from Duran Duran to Smashing Pumpkins, but Patti Smith’s acoustic performance does The Doors most beautiful song the justice it needs.

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Added: 5 Oct 2012

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Mikal Cronin – ‘Give It To Me Mikal Cronin is no stranger to covers, with his versions of Sixpence None The Richer and The Proclaimers available online. His downbeat take on 60’s guitar pop’s ‘Give It To Me’ is distinctive as it is mellow.

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Added: 12 Sep 2013

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Antony & The Johnsons – ‘Crazy In Love’ The acoustic cover of pop superstar track ‘Crazy In Love’ is unexpectedly soft, with Antony Johnson’s inimitable vocals crooning over piano, strings and clarinets. It was included on the tracklisting for their 2009 single ‘Aeon’.

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Added: 6 Sep 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Cassandra Wilson – ‘Wichita Lineman’ Cassandra Wilson’s version of Glenn Campbell’s classic country track is nothing short of beautiful. Slowed down, Wilson’s impossibly rich vocals accompany a soft jazz instrumental perfectly.

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Added: 12 Sep 2013

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Elbow – ‘Teardrop’ Dangerous move, this. Attempting to cover a song that's already perfect, complete with Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser's glassy vocals. So what do Elbow do? Add a new line of melody to stand alongside the famous riff, some cello and Guy Garvey in sorrowful-soft voice, divesting the Massive Attack version of its sci-fi chill.

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Added: 28 Aug 2011

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Alex Clare – ‘Damn Your Eyes’ Included on Alex Clare’s debut album ‘The Lateness Of The Hour’, he brings Etta James soft crooning up to date, including some powerful vocals and a strong beat to boot.

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Added: 12 Sep 2013

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Jack White – ‘Love Is Blindness’ U2’s original was a fairly slow and sombre affair. Jack White took it and made it his own, adding screaming guitars and a voice crying with bitterness. No wonder then, that Baz Luhrmann picked it up for his ‘Great Gatsby’ soundtrack.

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Added: 24 Apr 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Dandy Warhols – ‘The Wreck’ Gordon Lightfoot originally composed the ballad ‘The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald’ to commemorate the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior. The Dandy Warhols turned it into nine minutes of hissing psychedelia for 2004’s ‘The Black Album’.

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Added: 30 Apr 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

David Bowie – ‘Wild Is The Wind’ ‘Wild Is The Wind’ was originally written in 1957 for a film of the same name. Bowie was inspired to record it after meeting Nina Simone and hearing her cover of it. His recording of the track made it onto his ‘Station To Station’, and is worth a listen just for the wailing last chorus.

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Added: 21 Mar 2013

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Landslide’ Smashing Pumpkins scored a massive hit with their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Landslide’. Stevie Nicks has gone on record to affirm her approval: “Over this song there’s been this incredible connection… I believe that my poetry is really meant for everyone, no matter what age”.

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Added: 1 Jul 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

The Killers – ‘Shadowplay’ The Killers recorded version of ‘Shadowplay’ for the Ian Curtis biopic ‘Control’, and included it on their album ‘Sawdust’. It was released as a single in 2007, but their pop-y take on the track loses some of the bite it had with Curtis’ melancholy tones.

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Added: 17 Apr 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Elliott Smith – ‘Jealous Guy’ Lennon's track from his 1971 album 'Imagine' has been covered by loads of artists, but it's Smith's stripped-down, acoustic version that stands above the rest. Warning: the climbing vocals of"I didn't mean to hurt you/I'm sorry that I made you cry" might have you weeping at your desk.

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Added: 26 Jan 2011

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Tori Amos – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Tori Amos was quick off the mark with her Nirvana cover, releasing it in 1992 for her album ‘Crucify’. The stripped back acoustic piano version was described by Kurt Cobain as ‘a great breakfast cereal version’.

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Added: 24 Aug 2012

Photo: Richard Johnson

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Rufus Wainwright – ‘Across The Universe’ ‘Across The Universe’ is another track which has been covered to death. Rufus Wainwright’s version was recorded for the ‘I Am Sam’ soundtrack.

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Added: 16 Jul 2012

Photo: Jenn Five/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

The Stones – ‘It’s All Over Now’ The Stones’ cut of Bobby Womack’s soul classic was the most successful every, giving them their first ever number one hit. Mick Jagger’s distinctive vocals and Keith Richards manic guitar solo was what it took to push the song up the charts and spark a series of copy-cat covers.

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Added: 9 Jul 2013

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Echo And The Bunnymen – ‘People Are Strange’ Recorded for ‘The Lost Boys’ soundtrack, Echo & The Bunnymen’s version is, if possible, even eerier than The Doors’ original. New wave keyboards and jangly guitars are the perfect background for Ian McCulloch’s hushed singing.

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Added: 9 Aug 2010

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Kate Bush - 'Rocket Man' Kate Bush completely reinvented Elton John's classic.

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Added: 12 Mar 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Echo And The Bunnymen – ‘People Are Strange’ Recorded for ‘The Lost Boys’ soundtrack, Echo & The Bunnymen’s version is, if possible, even eerier than The Doors’ original. New wave keyboards and jangly guitars are the perfect background for Ian McCulloch’s hushed singing.

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Added: 8 Jul 2011

Photo: Andy Whitton/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

TV On The Radio – ‘Heroes’ Bowie himself chose TV On The Radio to cover ‘Heroes’ for War Child in 2009. With a computer generated beat and breaking vocals, it’s a departure enough from the original that it’s not in danger of stepping on its toes, all the while staying true enough that it’s pleasingly recognizable.

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Added: 27 Jun 2011

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Fiona Apple – ‘Across The Universe’ Another cover of Lennon’s classic track for another movie. This time soul songstress Fiona Apple took it on for 1998 film ‘Pleasantville’.

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Added: 19 Mar 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Pearl Jam – ‘Crazy Mary’ Another occasion where the cover is better than the original, Pearl Jam’s version of Victoria William’s ‘Crazy Mary’ is evocative to the last note.

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Added: 20 Apr 2011

Photo: PA

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Sandie Shaw – ‘Jeane’ The 60’s popstars acoustic version of The Smiths track is well worth a listen. Just her and a guitar, her voice provides a different kind of emotion from Morrisey’s morose uttering.

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Added: 12 Sep 2013

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

White Stripes – ‘Jolene’ The White Stripes released their take of Dolly Parton’s classic as a live single recorded in Blackpool. It’s certainly a bit edgier than the original, with dirty guitars and Meg’s characteristic drumming forcing the chorus forward.

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Added: 3 Nov 2011

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Passenger Included on their all cover versions album ‘Through The Looking Glass’, the group revamped Iggy Pop’s classic. Adding brass arrangements and Siousxie Sioux’s attitude, the end result is wonderfully 80’s.

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Added: 10 Apr 2013

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Franz Ferdinand, 'All My Friend' Fran Ferdinand recorded a version of the LCD Soundsystem classic in 2007.

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Added: 9 Aug 2013

Photo: Jake Giles Netter

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Pavement – ‘The Killing Moon Pavements cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s hit is a lot like the original, only Stephen Malkmus’ vocals turn it into what sounds like an American indie classic.

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Added: 6 Oct 2010

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Placebo, 'Five Years' Lots of you suggested Brian Molko's version of the David Bowie classic.

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Added: 10 Feb 2012

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50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

The Stranglers – ‘Walk On By’ Dionne Warwick’s recording of Burt Bacharach’s track was soulful pop through and through. The Strangler’s version was all gritty punk, with singer Hugh Cornwell growling the lyrics: ‘Foolish pride, that's all that I have left/So let me hide the tears and the sadness you gave me’.

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Added: 10 Aug 2011

Photo: Richard Johnson

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Bon Iver – ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ Another one that has been covered by everyone from George Michael to Prince. Bon Iver’s sweeping falsetto and minimal piano playing is something special, making for a beautiful recording of the heart broken ballad.

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Added: 16 Jul 2012

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

50 Hauntingly Beautiful Covers - Chosen By You

Radiohead – ‘Nobody Does It Bett’ "This is the sexiest song ever written," claimed Thom Yorke in 1995 before covering 'Nobody Does It Better', the James Bond song made famous by Carly Simon. Radiohead's roughed-up emo version turns it from a sweeping cruise-ship rendition to something way less sanitised, and way more interesting.

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Added: 20 Feb 2013

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