Monday, July 7, 2008

Early Morning Rain

The song that gave Gordon Lightfoot an entry into Big Time Show Business (remember the liner notes to College Concert?) is one of the most elastic of all of the major pop folk numbers of the 60s, having been covered innumerable times (according to some sources, second only to "Yesterday" as the most often-covered song of the decade) in almost as many different arrangements.

Talented interpreters from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash to Eva Cassady have taken a shot at it, and the song is just so good that for me each version has its merits.

The Trio recorded it early in its life, though it was buried on the first KT album that sold so poorly that it never appeared on any of the many Billboard charts, and consequently the song has never been regarded by the public as a Trio song, as fine a version as they did of it.

The 1967 Shane-Reynolds-Stewart trio version is on YouTube

...and one of the many videos made of the Elvis cover is here:

Ian and Sylvia from their 1984 reunion - they were the first to record and popularize it:

Watch this one quick - before Sylvia's lawyers catch that its embeddable.

No one does it quite like the master himself, though....

here from the late 70s.

Likely the most familiar version to U.S. record buyers of the day was PP&M's fine and melodic take on the song:

Classic country legend Jerry Reed delivers a superior reading of the song, here from 1971:

I think my favorite non-standard version of the song, by Paul Weller with guitar in an open D tunng - it's got much of the grit as in Gordon's own version and that I think he intended for the song:

1 comment:

greenhawk46 said...

nice blog note=Ian & Sylvia, the original album version really nailed this haunting, melancholy song-slan, Jim