"Gimme Shelter" is a song by English rock band, The Rolling Stones. It first appeared as the opening track on the band's 1969 album Let It Bleed. Although the first word was spelled "Gimmie" on that album, subsequent recordings by the band and other musicians have made "Gimme" the customary spelling. They first played "Gimme Shelter" live in 1969 at Pop Go the Sixties. "Gimme Shelter" was placed at #38 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Gimme Shelter" was created from the combined efforts of the singer and the guitarist. Richards had been working on the song's signature opening in London while Jagger was working on the film Performance. The song is a churning mid-tempo rocker and begins with a rhythm guitar intro by Richards, followed by Jagger's lead vocal. On the recording of the album, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, "Well, it's a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense..." On the song itself, he concluded, "That's a kind of end-of-the-world song, really....