One of the best songs by The Rolling Stones that was never a single

The Rolling Stones have released many legendary hits. This article will talk about one non-single that won the hearts of millions of rock fans, the song "Gimme Shelter".

"Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones - all about the song, history of the song, lyrical meaning, live performances and covers

The Rolling Stones are recognised by many cultural researchers as one of the most influential musical groups since the British Invasion itself. Their importance to rock music can hardly be underestimated: they have long been included in the Rock and Roll Hall of FameThey are one of the top five artists of all time according to a magazine inspired by their band's name, have won numerous awards. And, most importantly, they are still releasing music and keeping their fans happy!

Beginning their career in the psychedelic rock genre, The Rolling Stones quickly evolved, drawing on the inspiration from old blues records, looking for something new, and eventually created a unique sound that no one else can replicate. Now the Rolling Stones have become teachers and mentors: they no longer need an introduction and are the idols of millions. This article is about one a landmark hit of the British, whose popularity came to him in a surprising way.

The creation process: background and inspiration

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

By the time the composition was written. "Gimme Shelter" The Rolling Stones, or according to the band's then manager's idea of a "rebellious" alternative The Beatles, continued to compete with the Liverpool four for the title of the greatest rock band. Album "Let It Bleed."whose title song was "Gimme Shelter"was written at a time of real upheaval. In 1969, the relationship of the band's founder and leader Brian Jones with other members of the collective became aggravated due to the guitarist's unsatisfactory condition and his licentious lifestyle. As a result, Mick Jagger decided to sack Jones and replace him with another musician, as the album would not write itself. A month after leaving the band, Brian was gone, which also shocked the other Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

A rainy day in London, a relentless storm and a lonely Keith Richardssitting by the window. Puzzled by the events happening in the world, he picks up a guitar and literally accidentally comes up with one of the best riffs of 1969, which will later form the basis of the band. "Gimme Shelter". Moreover, The Rolling Stones guitarist was very concerned about the possible romance between Mick Jagger and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, with whom the band's lead singer was starring at the time in the crime drama "Submission". Hence the dramatic nature of the track, which keeps the listener in suspense for 4 minutes and 37 seconds.

It's important to note that the initial inspiration was the London weather: the sky quickly turned black and a heavy downpour began. I was sitting with an acoustic guitar and watching people running back and forth in search of shelter. That was the first idea behind the song," Richards shared.

A young Keith Richards
A young Keith Richards

Iconicity "Gimme Shelter" is also supported by the interesting fact that the guitar, which was present at the recording of the song, physically barely survived the sessions in the studio. According to Keith's own reports, in the original take of the song, during the very last note you can hear the the fingerboard completely fell off.

Lyrical meaning

Despite the fact that initially. "Gimme Shelter" did not carry a deep meaning, as Mick Jagger wrote the final version of the lyrics it took on a darker character. This was largely due to major global events to which the music community could not help but react appropriately. 10 years went on conflict in VietnamThe song's creator felt that what made it special was that it was really nasty and disliked by the people who were watching in horror. According to the songwriter, the peculiarity of this event was that it was really nasty and disliked by the people who were watching in horror.

A young Mick Jagger
A young Mick Jagger

"Gimme Shelter" became an anthem for the violent era of the late '60s. Social unrest and political incidents were very easily put to the tune written by Keith Richards. And the song became a composition about a reimagined end of the worldor the apocalypse.

Oh, look, there's a fire coming,
He's already on our street -
Like a carpet of glowing red coals,
Like a lost raging bull...," the song sings.

The best live performances ... 

The first song from the album "Let It Bleed."Although it was never released as a single, it quickly became a favourite with The Rolling Stones fans. So when the musicians started to include it in their concert programme, more people started to attend the Rolling Stones' live shows.

What's the secret "Gimme Shelter"? Not only in the legendary riff, but also in the vocal parts, because it actually has two soloists, although nominally Merry Clayton is listed as a backup singer. Her strong high voice, coupled with Jagger's insightful voice, is very good combine together.

Currently, the co-performer at concerts during this song is an American woman Lisa Fisher. She has participated in every tour of The Rolling Stones since 1989. "Gimme Shelter" has become a real trademark of the British band, as the two parts, female and male, allow Mick Jagger to draw attention to it thanks to the invitations of famous female vocalists to sing this song together.

For example, in the 50th anniversary tour, "The Rolling Stones." performed it with Mary J. Blige, Florence Welch and Lady Gaga.

...And the best covers

The popularity of "Gimme Shelter" has spawned a multitude of covers to it. One of the famous renditions is a cover by an American rock band Grand Funk Railroad. Musicians were able to hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart with a reprise!

Another famous performance was a cover U2with the singer Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and Mick Jagger himself. It was timed to coincide with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert in 2009.


Please enter your comment!
please enter your name here

Yuri Antonov: "Broken Zhiguli and a flat in Vykhino" - What the Artist Spent His Millions on, and How Much He's Ready to Perform for Today

Yuri Antonov: royalties, wealth, fortune Yachts, houses, business class cars... Yes, the sweet life of today's artists can only be envied, because they are literally like cheese in...

"In Her Mother's Footsteps": Olga Rozhdestvenskaya - How She Lives and Looks Today

Olga Rozhdestvenskaya: biography, career, photos and facts In the USSR there were many talented singers - with a beautiful voice, diction, manner of performance and, in fact, repertoire. How many gorgeous...

Queen's first hit that got the band on the radio

Queen - "Seven Seas of Rhye": All about the song, history and facts, translation The Kingdom of Rhye was surrounded by seven seas, where fairies and other... lived together.

Pete Townsend's first favourite band, which had a huge influence on him

Why Pete Townsend loves The Rolling Stones so much Every great musician has his or her - favourite great band. And, as a rule, getting to know them has had an...

Ronnie Wood is an admirer of the raw sound that fit perfectly with The Rolling Stones

Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones: biography and facts He is a member of The Rolling Stones. And for millions of people this is enough to call him a legend....

Vocals Only: What our favourite rock hits sound like without music - Part Two

Top 6 favourite rock hits with vocals only. Part Two Rock compositions that have become iconic over the years are planned as a whole work of art or performance even at the stage of writing, so...

Who did I Wanna Be Your Man better, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

The song "I Wanna Be Your Man": history of creation, best performance, covers In the 60's, many bands that later became world-famous were just beginning their creative rise. Such ...

Muddy Waters and Mick Jagger rock out on the same stage - best collab in blues history

Bluesmen Muddy Waters and Mick Jagger: biography, collaboration, joint performance Collaborations between rock musicians are not a new phenomenon. The Beatles and Eric Clapton, Queen and David ...

How The Rolling Stones' first manager 'escaped'

Why The Rolling Stones' first manager Andrew Loog Oldham left his post, and how it saved him Andrew Loog Oldham had the unique honour of introducing the world to...

The Rolling Stones' best songs of the '60s: the tracks that set the rock template

Top 60's Rolling Stone hits that became classics Infusing their favourite blues with rock 'n' roll swagger and an absolute disregard for any rules - and both music and...

Why Charlie Watts didn't like The Beatles.

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones: Was there really animosity between the two iconic bands? The Beatles and The Rolling Stones - these...

The crazy day The Rolling Stones hired the Hells Angels to provide security

What really happened the day the Rolling Stones made the mistake of hiring Hells Angels The late 1960s are remembered by foreign audiences for a number of reasons,...

Best Song From The Rolling Stones' Worst Album

The Rolling Stones - "She's a Rainbow": all about the song, story and meaning, recording This song isn't quite like what you expect to hear....

The Rolling Stones return with Hackney Diamonds - First Album in 7 years

The Rolling Stones' Hackney Diamonds album: review, tracks, facts Despite their cult status, this band hasn't been heard from in a while - well, if...

Who she is - Jimi Hendrix's mysterious "cunning lady".

Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady: meaning and history of the song, muse Jimi Hendrix didn't like to write songs - or rather lyrics to them: according to him, "usually...

What does "Helter Skelter" mean, or how the Beatles wrote their most curios hit

The Beatles - Helter Skelter: song history, meaning, notoriety The Beatles were famous for their light, melodic pop-rock compositions, and therefore, no one and...

The Story of One Classic Song: The Supremes - You Keep Me Hangin' On

All about the musical masterpiece "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes Let's dive into the distant October 1966. An American female vocal group took the stage ...

"A shy rebel and a drummer who could bang balls": the Rolling Stones' life before fame - part two

Life of The Rolling Stones before fame: Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards - part two In today's article, we continue to cover the lives of the members of the iconic band....

Top 6 most beautiful songs performed by Maria Pakhomenko

The hit parade of the best Pakhomenko songs: it was difficult, but we selected the best ones Maria Pakhomenko is a legend of Soviet pop music, whose name is known and loved by millions of listeners. Her voice...

Top 5 best songs of VIA "Singing Guitars" according to "Fuzz Music" magazine

A selection of the best songs of VIA "Singing Guitars" or singing covers - it's not as easy as it seems In the 60s in the Soviet Union, it wasn't as...

Top 5 favourite hits from Gaidai's films and their history

A selection of songs from Gaidai's films, which are known to everyone from childhood Leonid Iovich Gaidai is a famous Soviet film director, screenwriter and actor who directed many popular...