The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ Sampled in New Song
One of the Rolling Stones‘ greatest hits is getting new life.
‘Gimme Shelter,’ originally recorded in 1969 for the band’s classic ‘Let It Bleed’ album, forms the musical bed for ‘The Proclamation,’ the latest single by the Brooklyn hip-hop duo the Underachievers. Serving as a prelude to their upcoming EP, ‘The Proclamation’ uses ‘Shelter’s’ moody arrangement to back lyrics like “Get up on yo s—, switch up yo lane / If lives aren’t going right, then seek out change.”
The original ‘Gimme Shelter’ wasn’t anything close to inspirational; rather than encouraging listeners to seek out change, it warned of impending doom (“War, children / It’s just a shot away”). “Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era,” explained Mick Jagger in an interview with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner in 1995. “Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense … That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that.”
Although ‘Shelter’ was never released as a single, it’s one of the band’s signature songs, and it’s been covered countless times by an array of artists that includes Sheryl Crow, U2 and Grand Funk Railroad (and Merry Clayton, whose distinctive background vocals are a key component of the original recording).
Interestingly, in spite of its stature, ‘Gimme Shelter’ has only been sampled a handful of times, and the band’s music has appeared in a relatively small number of hip-hop songs since the early ’90s. Perhaps ‘The Proclamation’ will mark the start of a new trend.