This is the first single from Canadian rock band Rush's 2011 album Clockwork Angels. The song was recorded April 13, 2010 at Blackbird Studios in Nashville with producer Nick Raskulinecz with mixing and engineering done by Richard Chycki at the Sound Kitchen in Franklin, Tennessee. The song was mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York and released to radio stations and to iTunes on June 1, 2010.
Alex Lifeson's guitar solo was described in an interview by the website Musicradar.com as "unruly." The guitarist concurred with the description adding: "I definitely wanted something that was out of control. It's all over the map, kind of frenetic and climbing up and down with what the rest of the track was doing."
Lifeson used his '59 Les Paul reissue, 355 and '59 reissue Telecaster for this song. For the solo, he used the Les Paul.
The song reached #19 on the Finnish singles chart and #44 in the band's home country of Canada.
The song is the opening track of Clockwork Angels, an album that is built around a narrative of a young man's journey towards his dreams. Bassist-singer Geddy Lee told MusicRadar.com: "'Caravan' starts the story off; it's basically about a young guy who's got big dreams, big desires, and a very romantic vision of what the world's supposed to bring him and he can't wait to go out and see it. So he kinda runs away from home, stows away on the back of an airship. In our world airships are trains that fly! And yeah he sets off to find the world."