If someone had a light sabre to my throat, I’d have to declare that the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is my favourite song from the band. With Michael Phillip Jagger turning 73 this week (his birthday is July 26), here’s a journey back to side one, track one of 1969’s Let It Bleed.
Jagger’s parts were recorded on February 23 at Olympic Studios in London. Merry Clayton, the female vocalist on the song, was brought in later–November 2, to be exact–on a last-minute basis by producer and arranger (and her husband), Jack Niztsche. She was hauled out of bed around midnight and cut her part in just a few takes. She, by the way, was very pregnant at the time–and she was still wearing her pajamas when she made it to the studio.
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