Saturday, October 30, 2010

6 - "Gimme Shelter," Rolling Stones



Number 6 on the list of the top 50 most-played songs on my computer's iTunes is "Gimme Shelter," by the Rolling Stones. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the greatest songs of all time. A true classic.

This is also one of the few songs that's actually a favorite of mine to rank highly on the list. As I've mentioned a few times before, this is not a list of my favorite songs. This is a list of the most-played songs on my iTunes. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for. Number one on the list is a song I had barely heard since I was a kid, so when I got it on my iPod I listened to it a lot. Earlier this year I got on a kick of listening to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Last summer I listened to Metallica's Load album a lot. Those two bands have a lot of songs on the list as a result.

"Gimme Shelter" is one of my favorite songs and it's a testament to how good it is that it's so high on my list. This is one of those songs that just sucks you in and takes you to a different place for a couple minutes. If you look at music as art, "Gimme Shelter" is the musical version of the Mona Lisa.

This song is one of the few songs to feature a female co-singer with Mick Jagger, as Merry Clayton lends her vocals to "Gimme Shelter." The way that this song was recorded is something that I feel is missing in music. There's nothing computer-generated or "fake" about "Gimme Shelter." It's the band and Clayton in a studio making music. As Clayton's voice cracks during the song from hitting her high note, you hear Mick Jagger yell in the background. Today, things are so post-produced and done seperately that real moments like that are hard to find in popular music.

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