“Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones
How does one select a favorite Stones tune? I don’t know, but this one has really rocked ever since it came out in 1969 on Let It Bleed. Written by Richards and Jagger, it gave its name to the Maysles brothers/Charlotte Zwerin 1970 documentary film of the Stones’ 1970 US tour, including the Altamont (California) Free Concert at which the Hell’s Angels had been hired as security, but ended up killing a person. Horrendous in the age of peace and love, but 1970 was a turning point, and this song about violence and an apocalypse, perhaps, fit right into the scenario. The age of innocence was waning, drugs were becoming stronger, Vietnam was still killing our young men, or sending them home really messed up….not such a nice world, but, like many of the anti-war songs of this period, totally in sync with today’s world.
It was originally recorded with female vocals by Merry Clayton. The version you will hear is with Lisa Fisher. Her extraordinary, strong, soaring voice adds extra tension to this already supercharged tune.