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Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Gimme Shelter" Isolated Vocals

This week we'll feature isolated vocals on some big hits by some major artists.

Here's a track that I featured a couple of years ago that was taken down by the record label shortly after it posted. Here's another version of the isolated vocal from The Rolling Stone's great "Gimme Shelter" that's a mindblower. On it we hear Mick Jagger, Mary Clayton and an uncredited third voice singing the song like you've probably never heard it before.

Here are a few things I noticed.

1) What jumps out is how thick and long the reverb on the vocal track is. The verb is delayed so it stays out of way of the lead vocal a bit, but there's a lot more of it than I ever remember hearing on the record.

2) The other thing that jumps out is the third harmony vocal on the choruses in between Mick's lead vocal and Mary's high part. Never heard that before, but I like it.

3) It's interesting to hear how distorted everything is, especially on Mary Clayton's parts when she begins to belt it out.

4) Mary Clayton's part in the bridge is still great, no matter how many times I've heard it before. What a performance. Gives me chills!

Catch this video before it gets taken down again.

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Anonymous said...

The other voice is Keith Richards, who sings harmonies with incredible feel. This song, "Jumpin' Jack Flash", and "Honky Tonk Women" are all great examples!

Chris Dinant said...

exactly! Sounds just like keith to me.

Mojo said...

That thick verb is rich like butter! Wow!

Bobby Owsinski said...

You know, I'm not entirely sure that's Keith Richards as the 3rd vocalist. It makes a lot of sense, but they've been known to through a curve here and there, so I don't dare speculate until I speak with someone who was there.

Don D said...

Woah! It's staggering to realize I first heard this track forty-three years ago. What's more staggering is to realize that it's as electrifying today as it was then. What really stands out today is how rough and tumble these sessions were and yet how tight their sound was...and continues to be. Is this The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band ? Sure, why not.

Anonymous said...

The original demo has lead vocals by Keith Richards ( ). I have listened to many hours of RS demos. What I hear is Mick on lead, and then 3 background singers, Mick, Merry, and Keith. I realize it is your blog, but I don't think it is "wild speculation" to say that it is most likely KR.

Anonymous said...

I believe Bobby said that "I dare don't speculate". He never called it wild speculation (as indicated by your use of quotations).

The dude is being careful but not necessarily shooting your idea down.

Sounds like Keith to me also.

Anonymous said...

I realize that, and I'm not expecting him to change the blog post (if he was, certainly "another singer that is likely Keith Richards" would be pretty safe). It just seems odd that it wasn't at least put forth that the other vocalist might be KR, considering how prominent his backing vocals are in their canon, and the fact that the original demos have him singing the complete song alone.
I really enjoy and appreciate Bobby Owsinski's work, and I understand why he would hesitate to pronounce something as fact, that he isn't certain about.

Fred Decker said...

Holy cow! Who is Mary Clayton, and why don't I own any of her records?

Thanks Bobby!

Unknown said...

Chilling stuff


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