Gimme Shelter – Kaleidoscopic Funk Collision

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Just as Harmless’s Make Music showcases the style of music from the early `70s when laid-back hippie folk intermingled with soul and funk, Gimme Shelter (and its follow-up, Paint It Black) showcases songs from the early `70s when acid rock and psychedelia were applied to soul and funk.
There’s Merry Clayton’s scorching version of “Gimme Shelter” (she sang back-up on the Rolling Stones original); the Rotary Connection’s hazily psychedelic “I am the Black Gold of the Sun;” the Isley Brothers provide the best track on the CD with their storming combo of Neil Young’s “Ohio” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun;” and Rare Earth take psychedelic soul to its jamming max on their remake of “I Know I’m Losing You.”
Just about every track is a standout example of this exciting music hybrid, though I don’t understand why any Temptations songs from this era weren’t included. Their “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone” and “Unite This Land” are perfect examples of the type of music Gimme Shelter seeks to promote. (Listeners who want to hear these Temptations masterworks should just pick up the excellent UK compilation “Psychedelic Soul.”) Regardless, Gimme Shelter should definitely be checked out by any fan of Harmless’s other compilations.

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