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Gimmie Shelter

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Editors’ Notes

Striking when the iron was hot, Merry Clayton’s solo debut album arrived less than a year after her remarkable contribution as backing singer to the Rolling Stones’ 1969 hit “Gimme Shelter.” As the album title reveals, she takes the tune for a spin in her own vehicle, giving it the burning urgency of a Stax hit. Though her voice doesn’t break here with the same awesome timbre heard on the original recording, this version is easily more danceable. Clayton’s voice does break in all the right places on an opening cover of James Taylor’s “Country Road,” playing more soulfully than ol’ J.T. may have ever intended it to sound. She also turns the Paul Simon penned “Bridge Over Troubled Water” into a sunny ballad hoisted by grinding Hammond organ and gospel-tinged backing vocals that inject a healthy dose of Sunday-morning spirituality into the song. Bookending with Van Morrison’s “Glad Tidings” was ambitious because his version on Moondance is already plenty soulful, but Clayton’s uplifting version (along with some stellar musicianship) makes this one the album’s jewel.

Customer Reviews

Gimmie Shelter

This is an amazing version of "Gimmie Shelter" and one that I used to play a lot together with Thelma Houston's version of "Jumping Jack Flash" when I was working as a DJ at Circle Club in Copenhagen- Denmark. The album represents the sound of soul music at that time, reminding of the sound that came from Memphis. Enjoy and maybe check out some of the soul artists that were on the Stax labels at that time. Tony London

legendary duet partner for Rolling Stones' Gimmie Shelter

Very excited to see this one available on iTunes. Merry Clayton sang backup/duet with Mick Jagger on Gimmie Shelter--not Janis Joplin, as I used to believe. Merry recorded her own version here in 1970, and she totally owns it!


Born: December 25, 1948 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Best known for her background vocal work on the Rolling Stones' legendary single "Gimme Shelter," Merry Clayton had a long and successful career as backup singer, solo artist, and actress. Born December 25, 1948 (hence the rather "holiday" feel of her first name), in New Orleans, LA, Clayton recorded tracks with Elvis Presley, the Supremes, Ray Charles, and Joe Cocker, as well as being a member of Ray Charles' Raelettes in the early '60s. Her solo debut, "The Doorbell Rings," was released in 1963,...
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Gimmie Shelter, Merry Clayton
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Customer Ratings