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Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 05:23

I've always considered this song the Stones' signature achievement along with "Tumbling Dice", "Let It Loose".....
The music is all Keith, but I always credited Jagger with much of the lyrical content, lyrical edge but Keith says this is his song. We know that what Keith often takes "credit" for is a first line, an idea, or chorus, at which point Jagger takes that line or idea and takes it to the next level, completes it.
Lines like 'Rape, murder...' etc....they have Mick all over it. I always saw this song as a testament to the times, where chaos was the norm, with the MLK and RFK assasinations looming, it was a dark undercurrent...so i am a little dissapointed to learn that it was about ANita shagging Mick while Keith waited in the Bentley....but im probably reading too much into it anyway....
Im not trying to start a Mick vs Keith debate, Im just curious: how much of GS is Mick's?

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: TeddyB1018 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 05:43

First verse sounds like Keith. Second verse sounds like Mick. Rape, murder could be either one.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 05:49

Quote
TeddyB1018
First verse sounds like Keith. Second verse sounds like Mick. Rape, murder could be either one.

That's what I mean. Mick has a very distinctive lyrical style and his lyrics tend to have more of a flow.....

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: March 17, 2011 06:46

Hence "Jagger/Richards"...Richards rarely wrote complete sets of lyrics ("Ruby Tuesday" a possible exception), but as he himself explained once, his role was generally to come up with a title and structure, hand it to make and say "Gimme Shelter". I think the "Soul Survivor" demo on the Exile reissue pretty well illustrates the way they worked together. Keith had gotten the song that far, and it took Mick to write the actual lyrics.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-03-17 07:06 by 71Tele.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: JMoisica ()
Date: March 17, 2011 06:51

I've wondered this too. For what it's worth, here's a quote from timeisonourside.com:

"Gimmie Shelter is a classic (example of a song where the music and words came together). That, I just slapped down on a cassette while waiting for Mick to finish Performance." -- Keith

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 07:27

I think it is mostly a Keith song, and good evidence for this is that originally he sang vocals on it, and it was pretty much fully developed at that point (unlike Soul Survivor)...

Re: Gimmie Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: March 17, 2011 08:29

this is worthwhile reading: [www.timeisonourside.com]

basically we don't know anything about the Glimmers' songwriting processes except what they've told us about a handful of numbers,
and even with those it's easy to find contradictory Mick quotes, no doubt on purpose.
but about Gimmie Shelter they've consistently said Keith wrote it, and i sure don't see any reason to second-guess them on it

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: ghostryder13 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 08:43

Quote
whitem8
I think it is mostly a Keith song, and good evidence for this is that originally he sang vocals on it, and it was pretty much fully developed at that point (unlike Soul Survivor)...
that's the story i always heard plus their's an outtake with keith doing vocals as well

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: thkbeercan ()
Date: March 17, 2011 09:05

the fact that Keith performed it on his second US solo tour supports the theory that it is mostly his song

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: March 17, 2011 09:15

the fact that Keith performed it on his second US solo tour supports the theory that it is mostly his song


Mick performed it on his '88 solo tour......



ROCKMAN

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: elunsi ()
Date: March 17, 2011 09:36

Keith often says the he wrote the song also when he had little or nothing to do with the lyrics. Like for example "Beast of burden", they both, also Mick, say, that this is Keith´s song, but there are quotes by Mick about how he wrote the lyrics. I don´t think that there is a quote by one of them saying that Keith wrote all the lyrics to "Gimmie Shelter". Doesn´t Keith say in his book, that the song is about how he felt, like beeing in a storm etc.? He says similar about "Tumbling Dice", but Mick wrote the lyrics and maybe the vocal melody. I think as long as Keith or Mick don´t say clearly, that one of them wrote all the lyrics, they are most likely written by Mick or by them together.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: March 17, 2011 16:51

Gimme Shelter is The Rolling Stones' song. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: March 17, 2011 17:06

Mick stole it for his '88 solo tour...... >grinning smiley<

Honestly I think it's a 100% Keith song = 95% in fact sine Mick most probably gave some advice/suggestion at the recording stage.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: March 17, 2011 17:22

<<and even with those it's easy to find contradictory Mick quotes, no doubt on purpose>>

....have you read Life?........eye rolling smiley

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Date: March 17, 2011 18:00

It is a JAGGER - Richards song. Keith certainly came up with the opening bars - perhaps Keith's greatest achievement. To my ears, the rest is all obviously Jagger with some contribution from Keith and a huge decision from Jimmy Miller to include Merry Clayton



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-03-17 18:03 by wanderingspirit66.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: KeefintheNight82 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 19:16

The words all sound like Keith to me with the possible exception of 'red coal carpet' and 'rape murder'.

I would bet that Keith had 95% of those lyrics and Mick polished or suggested others.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: proudmary ()
Date: March 17, 2011 22:13

Keith Richards -
"Mick's more of a preacher than I am, in his method of delivery, etc. With Mick I can sit down and write on a more political level, a more social level, because he can deliver it that way. To me, when I get down to it, there's really not very much difference. A song about you and I is really about the same thing at a more intimate level... I usually focus it down to a more personal level, because I can deliver it better that way. Mick can sing it at a far more general level".

I think it explains it all. Keith wrote the song about his fear to lose Anita to Mick, Mick wrote the lyrics about apocalypse

"That's a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It's apocalypse; the whole record's like that".
"And I know it was during that time of the Vietnam War and so on, so it was very much the awareness that war is always present, or almost... very present in life".
- Mick Jagger


and Keith didn't think about this kind of stuff, for him it's on more personal level, like he says in Life
"I wrote Gimmie Shelter on a stormy day, sitting in Robert Fraser's apartment in Mount Street. Anita was shooting Performance at the time, not far away... It was just a terrible @#$%& day and it was storming out there. I was sitting there in Mount Street and there was this incredible storm over London, so I got into that mode, just looking out of Robert's window and looking at all these people with their umbrellas being blown out of their grasp and running like hell. And the idea came to me - "Oh a storm is threatening my very life today
If I don't get some shelter, oh yeah, I'm going to fade away" - for him it's the whole song.
But I think the rest of the lyrics were written by Mick.
Besides, Mick said about - for example - Ruby Tuesday: "It's just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it".

He never said anything like that about GS

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: BackstreetGirl ()
Date: March 17, 2011 23:03

It's all Brian's ;-)

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: March 17, 2011 23:23





ROCKMAN

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: March 17, 2011 23:25

Quote
proudmary

...and Keith didn't think about this kind of stuff, for him it's on more personal If I don't get some shelter, oh yeah, I'm going to fade away" - for him it's the whole song.
But I think the rest of the lyrics were written by Mick.

Exactly, that's my take. You summed it up, Keith doesn't think about that kind of stuff.....the lyrics have a real dark undercurrent that mirrors the times and that's Mick to me. Thanks for the quotes! Like Beast of Burden, Keith wrote the chorus, Mick the verses. Perfect collaboration, but Keith gives the impression he wrote all of GS.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2011-03-17 23:28 by stupidguy2.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Squiggle ()
Date: March 18, 2011 00:05

Quote
ghostryder13
Quote
whitem8
I think it is mostly a Keith song, and good evidence for this is that originally he sang vocals on it, and it was pretty much fully developed at that point (unlike Soul Survivor)...
that's the story i always heard plus their's an outtake with keith doing vocals as well

I'll go with the majority that the writing is mostly (at least) Keith but Mick certainly brought a lot to it. If that outtake is sung by Keith you can hear how much it was developed by Mick's singing (his 'I said love, sister, is just a kiss away' is one of the loveliest moments in the Stones' recordings).

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Squiggle ()
Date: March 18, 2011 00:07

p.s. I don't think Keith doesn't think about that stuff. Not really. Keith as presented in Life, perhaps not, but there's more to the silly bugger than that.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: March 18, 2011 00:18

i don't think it's that black and white with these 2. It is a very co dependent writing team. If one contributes less than the other in some way I am sure it is more than made up either by the way one sings or the way the other plays his instrument. They each bring so much to the other than they are profoundly and most often deficient without the other.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: scottkeef ()
Date: March 18, 2011 00:38

I do think its a valid point that Keith performed it with the Winos suggesting its mostly his song. Of course theres no way to prove it,just a feeling.I always found it interesting that Keith relied heavily on his solo work for those Winos tours and Mick basically just did a Stones show with hired guns.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Slimharpo ()
Date: March 18, 2011 03:32

Doesn't much of the vocal melody of Tumblin Dice follow Keith's riff? You can sings "Roll me, call me the tumbin Dice" to the guitar line Keith plays. Jagger's sense of melody plays some roll, but certainly Keith is very responsible for writing riff and melody here. Like Soul Survivor, lyrics evolved which were probably much written by Mick, but also probably influcenced and negotiated by Keiths taste.

I believe in Gimme Shelter Keith at very least wrote "the storm is thereatening my very life, if I don't get some Shelter I'm gonna fade away" and "Rape Murder it's just a kiss away." I think this is by and large a Keith Richards song, but Mick certainly brings some qualities to the song. The riff is Keith, but important details to the songs probably were developed with band as Keith likes to work that way.


Quote
elunsi
Keith often says the he wrote the song also when he had little or nothing to do with the lyrics. Like for example "Beast of burden", they both, also Mick, say, that this is Keith´s song, but there are quotes by Mick about how he wrote the lyrics. I don´t think that there is a quote by one of them saying that Keith wrote all the lyrics to "Gimmie Shelter". Doesn´t Keith say in his book, that the song is about how he felt, like beeing in a storm etc.? He says similar about "Tumbling Dice", but Mick wrote the lyrics and maybe the vocal melody. I think as long as Keith or Mick don´t say clearly, that one of them wrote all the lyrics, they are most likely written by Mick or by them together.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: March 18, 2011 03:38

The music is indisputably Keith and probably the chorus, but I think many of us hear Jagger's very distinctive phrasing and lyrics in the rest of the song. Keith 's lyrical style is less esoteric.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: klrkcr ()
Date: March 18, 2011 04:11

Quote
scottkeef
I do think its a valid point that Keith performed it with the Winos suggesting its mostly his song. Of course theres no way to prove it,just a feeling.I always found it interesting that Keith relied heavily on his solo work for those Winos tours and Mick basically just did a Stones show with hired guns.

Not quite on the topic - but I do agree with you scottkeef.The stones had not been to Japan,and it had been 15 yrs since they had been Down Under - Mick toured playing a majority of stones numbers.Would have liked to see Keith come to Oz with his solo act.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: March 18, 2011 22:29

Keith's tour version is, in a roundabout way, a bit heavier than how the Stones do it. Why he chose that song and not Jigsaw Puzzle or Let It Bleed (or for that matter any other late 60s/early 70s Stones aside from Happy) we'll never know - other than he felt like playing Gimme Shelter.

Maybe he liked how the Winos carried it.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: Lady Jayne ()
Date: March 18, 2011 22:48

I have always thought it was mostly Keith. One of the (many) reasons Let it Bleed is my favourite album is that it begins with this blinder and ends with You can't always get what you want. Gimme Shelter doesn't just showcase Keith's playing but for me symbolises the emotional resonance that characterises the best of his writing, whereas YCAGWYW showcases not only Mick's vocals but the intellectual honesty and innovation of the best of his writing. I do wish that the Glimmers, now that we are near the end, would be a little more jointly explicit about their writing processes for the sake of posterity.

Re: Gimme Shelter: whose song is it?
Posted by: MKjan ()
Date: March 18, 2011 22:48

In the Bockris book on page 153, Stanley Booth says he spent the afternoon with
Keith and Keith wrote the words and music to GS in 20 minutes.

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