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Monday, July 12, 2010

"Gimme Shelter" - Isolated Drums

Today we take a look at the isolated drums on the Stones classic "Gimme Shelter," a song that's a staple of club band everywhere. The song was the opening track from the 1969 releases "Let It Bleed" and was a big world-wide hit at the time.

1) The first thing you notice is the guiro (a hand-held percussion instrument) playing along with the drums. Like all percussion, this provides movement to the arrangement that's subtle but very real. Maracas enter at the solo at about 2:00.

2) You always hear stories about what a light hitter drummer Charlie Watts is (he's been known to go years between snare drum heads), but that's not true in this song and he leans into it with some muscle.

3) The performance is very solid with great tempo, especially the fills. Many drummers have great time except when it comes to the fills but not in this case.

4) The sound is very 60's, with a lot of room as it was probably miked with only a couple of mikes. You can hear the rhythm guitar leakage, as I believe the basic tracks were only drums, rhythm guitar, percussion and vocals.

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Bob Buontempo said...

All these soloed tracks are very cool!! HOW are you getting them? ;^)

Jeff Shattuck said...

So cool that you're posting this stuff.

Question: could this be Jimmy Miller on drums? I work with a guy who swears Jimmy Miller is on the drums for all the Stones' best stuff between 1968 and 1971. Do think there's any truth to this?

Bobby Owsinski said...


Unfortunately I must protect my sources ;).

Bob Buontempo said...

Okay; but I STILL think they are all very cool!!

Peter Toriello said...

...and it sure sounds like hihat and snare are most certainly hit together, I've always thought that was kind of a myth that he does it 100% of the time :)


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