Neil Young Performs a Haunting, Quiet Cover of “Needle of Death”

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 24 2014 2:51 PM

Neil Young Performs a Haunting, Quiet Cover of “Needle of Death”

Neil Young’s A Letter Home was recorded in the Voice-O-Graph booth at Jack White’s Third Man Records, which, as Stereogum explains, “records you to vinyl as you play.” The album of covers came out on vinyl for Record Store Day, but is now headed to CD and DVD as well, for a box set that comes out May 27. The track list is below, and above you can hear his haunting take on “Needle of Death,” the Bert Jansch tune that was one of the inspirations for Young’s own heroin lament, “The Needle and the Damage Done.”

A Letter Home track list:

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“Changes” (Phil Ochs)
“Girl from the North Country” (Bob Dylan)
“Needle of Death” (Bert Jansch)
“Early Morning Rain” (Gordon Lightfoot)
“Crazy” (Willie Nelson)
“Reason to Believe” (Tim Hardin)
“On the Road Again” (Willie Nelson)
“If You Could Read My Mind” (Gordon Lightfoot)
“Since I Met You Baby” (Ivory Joe Hunter)
“My Hometown” (Bruce Springsteen)
“I Wonder If I Care as Much” (Don Everly)

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.