Gimme Shelter (4:31)

Cover of Rolled Gold +

From Rolled Gold + and 83 other releases

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Gimme Shelter” was created from the combined efforts of both the singer and the guitarist. Richards had been working on the song’s signature opening in London while Jagger was working on the film Performance. The song takes the form of a churning mid-tempo rocker. It begins with a rhythm guitar intro by Richards, followed by Jagger’s lead vocal. On the recording of the album, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, “Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense…” On the song itself, he concluded, “That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that.”

The lyrics of the song speak of seeking shelter from a coming storm, painting a picture of devastation and social apocalypse while also talking of the power of love:

“ Oh, a storm is threat’ning, My very life today; If I don’t get some shelter, Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away ”
“ War, children, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away; War, children, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away”

The track was used to great effect in the Martin Scorses 1995 classic, ‘Casino’ adding period atmosphere as only great music can.

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  • strangeteacher

    What a bunch of fake fans. Merry Clayton? That's not her. That's Lisa Fisher, a great singer in her own right. Mary Clayton was the original singer, but this is Lisa! I agree with Namedieh...best Stones' song ever. Best band in the history of the world...to infinity!!!

    25 Mar 8:55pm Reply
  • atearmstoholdya

    Merry Clayton just hits this song so very well. I have no idea if it is true but I've heard that she was pregnant when this was made, but that her singing...and forcing her voice to crack several times... caused her to have a miscarriage shortly after the session. I have also heard that The Stones called her to the recording session early in the morning...two or three AM. Merry Clayton later married Leon Russell.

    25 Mar 4:03am Reply
  • Namedieh

    Best Stones song ever!

    11 Mar 6:44pm Reply
  • tibijack

    You know, I probably wouldn't even hate this band if my local radio station didn't play this horrible song every 5 seconds.

    24 Feb 6:16pm Reply
  • Moonlight_Dawn

    Solid hard rock.

    9 Feb 4:45am Reply
  • davidbowiegirl

    Good song

    4 Feb 5:35pm Reply
  • Stackedactor

    Say what now?

    10 Jan 11:40pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    When I gave me to a rubbish from John Lewis hug my kind and the control of my body and give him a forklift truck for Christmas oh he should be on my phone number is not the one that was the day I broke the Meditation Opera shown that was

    25 Dec 2014 Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Oh uuuia do you remember the man from Depeche Mode where the next few people I have a bath because this was out when I was a summer baby on my kindle fire and cuddle fire

    6 Dec 2014 Reply
  • vinman76

    Sing it Brown Sugar... Mary!!!

    20 Nov 2014 Reply
  • althefknamsrtkn

    That strobing chord progression at the end of the chorus is so late 60s, hard to explain.

    14 Nov 2014 Reply
  • beppex

    veramente GRANDI!!!!!

    23 Oct 2014 Reply
  • BennoTiger

    :-))

    26 Aug 2014 Reply
  • garynotrashcoug

    "probably the best song they have ever made" Yeah, pretty much this.

    10 Aug 2014 Reply
  • zaratoestra

    probably the best song they have ever made

    4 Jul 2014 Reply
  • JuniorBells

    Nice tune!

    3 Jun 2014 Reply
  • VirtueFilms

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKmB96ex6yw

    18 May 2014 Reply
  • marjo47

    Classic.

    13 May 2014 Reply
  • Storchel

    Loooove it..........

    28 Apr 2014 Reply
  • SonOfThirteen

    LOVE, SISTER

    25 Apr 2014 Reply
  • All 1418 shouts

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