Gimme Shelter (4:30)

Cover of Rolled Gold +

From Rolled Gold + and 76 other releases

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Gimme Shelter” was created from the combined efforts of both 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 takes the form of a churning mid-tempo rocker. It 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’s 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.”

The lyrics of the song speak of seeking shelter from a coming storm, painting a picture of devastation and social apocalypse while also talking of the power of love:

“ Oh, a storm is threat’ning, My very life today; If I don’t get some shelter, Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away ”
“ War, children, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away; War, children, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away”

The track was used to great effect in the Martin Scorses 1995 classic, ‘Casino’ adding period atmosphere as only great music can.

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  • AwesomeMatthew

    I just love how Last.fm knows exactly what I want to hear. This is one of my absolute favorite Stones songs.

    6 Aug 6:44pm Reply
  • LauraJean65

    yep , as good as it gets. Stones! rock on

    5 Aug 10:21pm Reply
  • ChoedanKal

    joanpwr: "Putting this song as my alarm clock, makes me feel it's worth waking up earlier." I'd just listen to the entire song, then hit the snooze button to hear it again and again until I'm 3 hours late to work. Awesome but impractical...

    24 Jul 6:40pm Reply
  • DrMichaelGalvin

    Yes, Merry Clayton!

    24 Jul 4:59pm Reply
  • ickarte

    Close your eyes, listen to this and be healed.

    13 Jul 9:40pm Reply
  • judybond17

    Can not hold still whenever this song comes on. Favorite Stones number, ever!

    22 Jun 10:27am Reply
  • prime1128

    Merry Clayton. Amazing.

    13 Jun 7:28am Reply
  • dollface622

    Best intro ... Love this and I own all their music. No word can say "Classic, Fantastic."

    10 Jun 7:15pm Reply
  • Storchel

    the rest of the song is great too though..!

    4 Jun 9:58pm Reply
  • Gracielied

    Happy Belated Birthday Charlie

    4 Jun 8:44pm Reply
  • klpra

    Fantastic!

    29 May 7:16pm Reply
  • mklinsao

    Love this song.

    29 May 4:58pm Reply
  • BMWPRETTY

    Nice! Spank! Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! :-) Epic! lets not ever forget this talent and band!

    27 May 7:24am Reply
  • joanpwr

    Putting this song as my alarm clock, makes me feel it's worth waking up earlier.

    24 May 5:53pm Reply
  • TheMally98

    EPIC INTRO, Scorsese ruled as fuck with this song in Goodfellas/Casino/The Departed!

    2 May 5:14pm Reply
  • Big-Mac-Bo

    this is brilliant

    17 Apr 9:49pm Reply
  • Eriponponpon

    if i don't get some shelter loooord i'm gonna fade awayyyy

    16 Apr 3:08pm Reply
  • dragonx99

    best intro ever [3]

    16 Apr 8:30am Reply
  • ThePowerStation

    Nice!

    12 Apr 5:38pm Reply
  • paradrome

    <3333333333333333333333333333333333333

    31 Mar 7:31pm Reply
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