Saturday, 20 October 2012

'Gimme Shelter' - The Rolling Stones (1969)

"War, children,
It’s just a shot away."

No-one needs to buy a Rolling Stones record. That’s what I used to think. Their poppy hits were played non-stop on Radio One when I was growing up. To the point that the songs were drained of any resonance. And then I heard The Sisters Of Mercy’s version of ‘Gimme Shelter’. A maelstrom of apocalyptic visions and pounding rhythms. I expected this from The Sisters of Mercy. But from the Stones? How little did I know.

My parents record collection was light on Stones albums, so it was off to Our Price for any album they had with ‘Gimme Shelter’ on. Which was this Greatest Hits double set. Here my love of the Stones began. In their hands, ‘Gimme Shelter’ was something else again. It simply reverberated with unbridled emotion. This is what Steve Wright should have been playing on the Radio One Roadshow. And to think I still had to discover ‘Sticky Fingers’, ‘Exile On Main Street’, and so very many more.

I think we’ve all learnt something here about misconceptions. I’m now ready to hear The Sisters Of Mercy cover something by Genesis.  

Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie and Bill introduce last week's
world premiere of 'Crossfire Hurricane' at the London Film Festival. 

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