Billboard #1 Hits: #261: “Maggie May”- Rod Stewart. October 2, 1971. #1 for 5 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.
- Single: “Maggie May”- Rod Stewart
- Record Company-Mercury
- Genre: Folk Rock
- Written by Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton
- Time: 3:43 single- 5:50 album
- B-side: “Reason To Believe”
- Album- Every Picture Tells A Story
- Grade: A+
- Peaked at #1 5 weeks in Billboard Hot 100. #1 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Australia and Canada.
One of my favorite albums from the early 70’s is Rod Stewart’s -Every Picture Tells A Story. “Maggie May” was Rod Stewart’s first hit single as a solo artist. The single and the album would both go to #1 in the United States and United Kingdom. The version of the song I have included is the album version of the song- it has the “Henry” intro- the 30 second guitar solo composed by Martin Quittenton.
When originally released by the record company- “Reason To Believe” was to be the A-side- but “Maggie May” quickly became the side they started to play on the radio and it became the hit and remains one of Rod Stewart’s best and most known songs.
The mandolin on the song- which to me is a real highlight- was played by Ray Jackson of the group Lindisfarne. Rolling Stone ranked “Maggie May” #131 in their 500 Greatest Songs Ever list.
“Maggie May was more or less a true story, about the first woman I had sex with, at the 1961 Beaulieu Jazz Festival. “The woman’s name was not “Maggie May”; Stewart has stated that the name was taken from an old Liverpudlian song about a prostitute- which The Beatles used on their Let It Be album.