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Neil Young is the latest artist to cover Gordon Lightfoot's 1966 classic "Early Morning Rain." He recorded the song at the Farm Aid concert in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 21, 2013. It's one of Lightfoot fans' most beloved compositions. Lightfoot wrote the song, which includes the memorable line "you can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train," based on his memories of living in Los Angeles as a music student and watching "big 707" jetliners taking off from LAX.
Now Young is recording "Early Morning Rain" as part of a new album of cover songs for Jack White's Third Man Records and will likely be released by Warner Bros, as well.
In December 2013, the Neil Young website Thrasher’s Wheat quoted a source as saying: “It is an album of covers. In it, as anticipated, he pays tribute to other renowned singer-songwriters. There are 12 tracks on it. There are no Neil Young originals…”
Other songs likely to be included are Bert Jansch's “Needle of Death,” as well as Phil Ochs “Changes” Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Ivory Joe Hunter’s “Since I Met You Baby” and Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe,” all songs that Young played at the 2013 Farm Aid concert.
With "Early Morning Rain," Young joins a long list of artists who have covered Lightfoot's classic, including: Harry Belafonte, Eva Cassidy, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, George Hamilton IV, Ronnie Hawkins, Richard Hawley, Ian & Sylvia, Kingston Trio, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tommy Makem & The Clancy Brothers, Raul Malo, Peter, Paul & Mary, Elvis Presley, Jerry Reed, Tony Rice, Porter Wagoner, Paul Weller and Josh White Jr.
Here is Young performing the song: