//
you're reading...
Daily History

October 2 1971 Rod Stewart earns his first #1 hit with “Maggie May”


On October 2nd 1971, one of the greatest rock songs of all time, “Maggie May,” became Rod Stewart’s first #1 hit.

If living well is the best revenge, then Rod Stewart has long since avenged the critical barbs he’s suffered through the years.

Still active in his fifth decade as a recording star, he can point to nearly three dozen pop hits and nearly 40 million albums sold as proof that he’s done something very right.

Yet all of his commercial success wouldn’t silence those purists who believe that Rod Stewart wasted the greatest male voice in rock history by putting it to use in service of disco anthems and an endless string of generic adult-contemporary ballads.

Whatever one’s opinion about Stewart’s musical choices few could deny the pure perfection of his performance on “Maggie May.”

An international hit that topped the U.K. and U.S. pop charts simultaneously in the autumn of 1971, “Maggie May” was a last-minute addition to the album Every Picture Tells a Story and was originally released as the “B” side to the single “Reason To Believe.”

Soon, however, radio programmers began flipping “Reason To Believe” in favour of “Maggie May,” the possibly autobiographical tale of a young man reflecting wistfully on the end of a love affair with an older woman.

With its ringing acoustic guitar and mandolin arrangement, “Maggie May” reflected the full range of influences that had shaped a singer-songwriter then better known for the harder-edged music of the rock bands he’d fronted in the late 1960s and very early 1970s: the Faces and the Jeff Beck Group.

But Rod Stewart had begun his path to stardom as an itinerant banjo- and harmonica-playing Bob Dylan devotee, and it was that folk sensibility that helped make “Maggie May” such a standout hit.

“Maggie May” and Every Picture Tells a Story launched Rod Stewart’s spectacular solo career; a career that has included 33 subsequent top-40 hits on the American pop chart, including two subsequent #1s in “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (1977), “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1979).

Rod Stewart’s detractors may believe that they also marked a creative high point in a career that has seen more success among record-buyers and concert-goers than among rock critics, yet those record-buyers and concert-goers continue to support a singer who has even managed to reinvent himself successfully as a crooner of jazz standards in his fifth decade as a major pop star.

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

One thought on “October 2 1971 Rod Stewart earns his first #1 hit with “Maggie May”

  1. A great song and album.

    Posted by tomsimard | October 2, 2012, 02:37

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,046 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Pentagon plans to improve airfields in Guam and Australia to confront China

Pentagon plans to improve airfields in Guam and Australia to confront China

The Pentagon wants to improve bases in Guam and Australia to counter China following a review of U.S. military resources around the globe. The Global Posture Review (GPR), of which an unclassified version is set to be released later on Monday, “directs additional cooperation with allies and partners who advance initiatives that contribute to regional […]

Cadence Column: Asia, November 29, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, November 29, 2021

China faces a very serious and very real boycott at the Olympic Games. The Olympic Committee awarded China as the host country and claims that politics isn’t its business; other governments need to handle that. Boycotts are under serious consideration in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the European Union via Lithuania. If […]

China targets ride-hailing operator Didi for delisting in New York

China targets ride-hailing operator Didi for delisting in New York

China’s internet regulator has ordered the operators of a major ride-hailing app, Didi Chuxing, to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, in an ongoing government crackdown on the country’s technology sector, international media reports said on Friday. The Cyberspace Administration has ordered Didi Global Inc to devise a plan to delist, out of concerns the […]

US sends warship through Taiwan Strait in message to China

US sends warship through Taiwan Strait in message to China

The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a routine operation on Tuesday. The transit sparked anger from the Communist Chinese government, which considers Taiwan its territory, and it characterized the U.S. warship’s actions as a provocative act. The U.S. 7th Fleet announced the USS Milius’ […]

How China is trying to turn the U.S. against itself

How China is trying to turn the U.S. against itself

As Congress advances a set of bills to protect against Beijing’s efforts to subvert American democracy, China is using our system of government to block and tackle. On November 12, Reuters reported that Chinese officials have been pressuring American companies, executives, and trade groups to lobby against the legislation, threatening to reduce their share of […]

Chinese geo-strategic expansion in the Levant: A case study of Lebanon

Chinese geo-strategic expansion in the Levant: A case study of Lebanon

As soon as the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, China and the Middle East faced a series of challenges. In recent years, China’s influence in the region has expanded due to its economic interests in energy, trade, infrastructure construction, and diplomatic contacts with the region’s countries. This is linked to President Xi […]

The Chinese Communist Party still thinks it owns the future

The Chinese Communist Party still thinks it owns the future

A rising chorus of analysts now describe China as a “peaking power”—one that might take greater risks to revise the international order before its strategic window of opportunity closes. They cite the country’s aging population , slowing economy , and hostile external environment  as evidence that time is no longer on China’s side. The “fear of decline,” they […]

Chinese maritime militia threatens order in South China Sea

Chinese maritime militia threatens order in South China Sea

Hundreds of Chinese maritime militia vessels are operating in contested areas of the South China Sea on a consistent basis, according to a new U.S. think tank report that says this poses a significant challenge to “maritime order rooted in international law.” The Washington, D.C.,-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), says that for […]

Cadence Column: Asia, November 22, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, November 22, 2021

The world is not responding well to the so-called “plandemic”. The important thing is not whether the global disease, as said by Judy Mikovits to have been developed under the supervision of Fauci, was actually intended to do all this. The public thinks it was because governments haven’t work carefully to earn public trust. Even […]

Tackling Chinese technological advantage 

Tackling Chinese technological advantage 

“China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances”. When the Pentagon’s former software chief Nick Chaillan made this claim, it felt as if the whole world had come crashing down. The whole episode gave rise to the debate about who’s ahead […]

%d bloggers like this: