Monday, February 29, 2016

Rolling Stones – "Gimme Shelter" (1969)

A storm is threatening
My very life today

The great rock critic, Greil Marcus, once said that "the Stones have never done anything better" than "Gimme Shelter.”  He couldn’t have been righter.   

"Gimme Shelter” is the opening track on the Rolling Stones' best album, Let It Bleed.  It begins with a nervous, twitchy guitar solo by Keith Richards, but then drummer Charlie Watts – always unsung, but perhaps the most essential of all the  Stones – takes over, propelling the song down the tracks as only he can.  

Mick Jagger's lead vocal is unusually strong, but the crucial element of "Gimme Shelter" – the one thing that lifts it above just about anything else the Stones ever recorded – is backup singer Merry Clayton.

I’ve written about “Gimme Shelter” before.  I’m not sure how you could have expected me to write about a thousand different songs without writing about “Gimme Shelter,” which belongs on the Mt.  Rushmore of rock songs.  

(What other rock songs belong on Mt. Rushmore?  That’s not an easy question to answer.  Maybe “Helter Skelter,” by the Beatles.  Maybe “I Can See For Miles” by the Who, and “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds.  Maybe Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” or Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.”  And there are some other worthy candidates.)

Click here to read my original “Gimme Shelter” post, which focused on Merry Clayton.

Scorsese and Robert DeNiro
on the set of "Goodfellas"
Martin Scorsese has used a lot of classic pop and rock songs on his movie soundtracks, including a half-dozen or so songs by his favorites, the Rolling Stones.

“Gimme Shelter” is on the soundtracks of no fewer than three of Scorsese’s movies: Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed.  Here’s a video containing the “Gimme Shelter’ scenes from all three of those movies:

I hope you enjoyed this year's "29 Songs in 29 Days."  NOT THAT ANY OF YOU SAID YOU ENJOYED IT AND THANKED ME FOR DOING IT.

What the hell – just click on an ad or two and we'll call it even.

Here’s “Gimme Shelter”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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