There’s no shortage of great songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, but “Gimme Shelter” may be the song that tops them all. Dark and foreboding as only the Stones can do, this track has all the hallmarks of the Rolling Stones at their best: iconic guitar riffs by Keef, Jagger at the top of his game, and the Watts/Wyman rhythm section doing what they do best (plus Nicky Hopkins on piano).  But what pushes this one from merely brilliant into sublime is the vocal performance by Merry Clayton– for my money, one of the greatest moments on record. All together, this one belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Rock. 

“Gimme Shelter” (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards) Copyright 1969 ABKCO Music Inc.

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3 comments on “The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”

  1. Loved your analysis! I learned a lot. Thank you. Thought you’d like to know that a documentary about Nicky Hopkins called “The Session Man” is currently in production.

    • Brad Page Jan 8, 2020

      Thanks for the comments, and for the tip on the Micky Hopkins doc. Can’t wait to see it. Nicky was kind enough to re-tweet this podcast episode, so I’m eternally grateful to him!