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Revisiting Patti Smith's tremendous cover of The Rolling Stones song 'Gimme Shelter'


Patti Smith is one of the most iconic artists of her generation. Getting her start in the 1960s, she’s a poet, a musician, and an author with so many accolades under her belt that it’s hard to keep count.

Even though Patti Smith has been producing less music as of late, it seems that there’s still so much of her work to be discovered, including incredible covers from all kinds of rock icons.

The Rolling Stones, likewise, are one of the most influential bands of their generation alongside Smith. They’ve produced so many songs the people love to cover time and time again, including their notorious ‘Gimme Shelter’, which entered the world of the Punk Poet Patti herself. Even though it might have been a slightly unexpected choice for the singer, it’s clear that she pulls it off exceptionally well.

In Smith’s cover version of the classic track, she sings with a deep grit and power that she’s long been known for in her own music. Her voice retains a sense of femininity in the song, but it still gives over to that fearless quality that makes it still sound classic.

There’s something completely natural and effortless in the way she sings this song, her alto voice creating a balance with the rock music playing behind it.

This is one of those covers that proves that a new rendition doesn’t need to be better than the original, standing on its own as a solitary musical achievement. As one of the commenters puts it, “I would love to hear more women sing like this; meaning without fear and with their true voices, instead of trying to sound super pretty.” And it’s true. Her voice is something completely unique to her, which is exactly what makes her such an icon.

If you want to take a listen to Patti Smith’s magnificent, powerful cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’, you can find it down below.