Gimme Shelter
The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones 1969 Let It Bleed LP

Ooh, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don`t get some shelter
Ooh, yeah, I`m gonna fade away

War, children
It`s just a shot away
It`s just a shot away

Peak Chart Position
  • the song was not released as a single in the U.S. - no chart rank
  • the song was released as as single in Japan in 1971
  • from The Rolling Stones' eighth UK and tenth U.S. album, Let It Bleed (1969)
  • guest vocalist Merry Clayton sings the higher-pitched second vocal track heard on the song; Mick Jagger:  “When we got to Los Angeles and we were mixing it, we thought, ‘Well, it’d be great to have a woman come and do the rape/murder verse,’ or chorus or whatever you want to call it.  We randomly phoned up this poor lady in the middle of the night, and she arrived in her curlers and proceeded to do that in one or two takes, which is pretty amazing. She came in and knocked off this rather odd lyric. It’s not the sort of lyric you give anyone–’Rape, murder/It’s just a shot away’–but she really got into it, as you can hear on the record.”
  • on the record:
       Mick Jagger - vocals, harmonica, backing vocals
       Keith Richards - guitar, backing vocals
       Bill Wyman - bass
       Charlie Watts - drums
       Merry Clayton - vocals, backing vocals
       Nicky Hopkins - piano
       Jimmy Miller - percussion
  • guitarist Brian Jones was not a contributor on the "Gimme Shelter" recording sessions
  • written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards; Jagger: "That's a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It's apocalypse."
  • produced by Jimmy Miller
  • recorded at Olympic Studios, London, England
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