Mick Jagger called it a ‘kind of an end of the world song’ and in respect to the times in which it was written you can understand. It remains one of the finest rock records ever. Merry Clayton adds a haunting female vocal and the song grows to a great climax, the production and recording of the song are catching lightning; this makes for an amazing record. It is always synonymous with the tragedy at Altamont, Sharon Tate Vietnam and the violence that marred the end of the sixties. It's use on soundtracks has often been effective and poignant. Among the many great Rolling Stones songs and performances this record captures a certain chemistry and delivers.
Gimme shelter/The Departed
*It has been covered, of course and the version by Grand Funk Railroad isn't half bad
Grand Funk Railroad-Gimme Shelter