Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Merry Clayton:
Gimme Shelter and Tell All The People [1971]

from the album Merry Clayton

Gimme Shelter written by Jagger/Richards
Tell All The People written by Robbie Krieger

For those who don't know, Merry Clayton (born on Christmas Day in New Orleans) sang the spine-tingling female vocals on the Stones' original version of Gimme Shelter. This is her solo version from her self-titled 1971 LP, which I was stoked to find at Academy on Friday for a reasonable $20. I'm also including Merry's cover of the Soft Parade deep cut "Tell All The People". Perhaps the idea to cover this came from Merry's husband Curtis Amy, who played the sax solo on "Touch Me" (also from The Soft Parade) and co-produced this record.

Album credits:
Produced by Lou Adler with considerable help from Curtis Amy
Arranged by Gene Page

Guitars: David T. Walker, David Cohen, Louie Shelton, Lou Morrell, Orville "Red" Rhodes; Piano & Organ: Joe Sample, the Late Great Billy Preston; Conga: King Errisson; Percussion: Gary Coleman, Victor Feldman; Bass: Bob West; Drums: Paul Humphrey

available on LP

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's got quite a range in her voice on Tell All The People.

I am surprised that not a single member of the Rolling Stones plays on that album. You'd think she'd be able to lure someone to the studio to play on a track or two...

broke said...

Gimme Shelter is brilliant, what a voice! - thanks for this post,
B

Hilal said...

I was obessed with MC's version of 'Gimme Shelter' last summer. My wife described it best: "It sounds like the millionaires went on vacation and the servants threw a party in the mansion."

Anonymous said...

"It sounds like the millionaires went on vacation and the servants threw a party in the mansion."

Great description! That reminds me of parties at Sheridan Dupre's apartment... only those are more similar to the servants going away and the millionaires throwing a party in the servants' quarters. And then the millionaires waking up the next day and realizing that stagflation and extreme extravagance has erased their wealth.

Anonymous said...

Very Merry tasty choice. I think it's worth noting that Merry's brother Sam is a classic member (percussionist&vocalist) for Little Feat.

PS Bowie/Stevie Ray?

Emmett said...

Yes, Merry's voice is amazing on Tell All The People. She somehow has distortion and feedback built into her voice. It's insane.

Anon: Thx for the info re: Little Feat. I did not know that.

Hilal: I'm not sure your wife's choice of metaphor is an entirely felicitous one, but either way I'm glad you dig the song!

Anonymous said...

Little-known Merry Clayton fact: She sang several tracks on the soundtrack album of the 1970 movie Performance which starred Mick Jagger.

whiteray said...

Thanks for these -- wonderful stuff!