'Gimme Shelter' is the opening track on The Rolling Stone's 1969 album 'Let It Bleed' and although the first word was spelt 'Gimmie' on that album, subsequent recordings by the band and other musicians have made 'Gimme' the customary spelling.
The Rolling Stones first played the song live on the TV special, 'Pop Go The Sixties', on 31 December 1969.
'Gimme Shelter' was never released as a single however; it quickly became a staple of their live show, first performed during their 1969 American Tour. It has since been included on many compilation releases, including both 'Hot Rocks' 1964--1971 and Forty Licks, and concert versions appear on the Rolling Stones' albums 'No Security' and 'Live Licks'.
The song also appears on the 2008 Official Video release of the 1972 Rolling Stones tour, 'Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones'.
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 'Gimme Shelter' was created from the combined efforts of the singer and the guitarist. Richards had been working on the song's signature opening in London while Jagger was working on the film Performance. The song is a churning mid-tempo rocker and begins with a rhythm guitar intro by Richards, followed by Jagger's lead vocal. On the recording of the album, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, "Well, it was a very rough, very violent era! The Vietnam War! Violence on the screens, pillage and burning and Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense..." On the song itself, he concluded, "That's a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It's apocalypse; the whole record's like that."
To find out more about 'The Rolling Stones' and the album 'Let It Bleed' check out the following links:
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