He has had six consecutive number one albums in the UK, and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top 10, six of which gained the number one position. He has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2007, he received a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.
In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists". A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at No. 33 in Q Magazine's list of the top 100 Greatest Singers of all time, and No. 59 on Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers of all time. As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, as a member of the Faces.
"Maggie May" is a song written by singer Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton and recorded by Stewart in 1971 for his album Every Picture Tells a Story.
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the song #131 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"Maggie May" expresses the ambivalence and contradictory emotions of a young man involved in a relationship with an older woman, and was written from Stewart's own experience. In the January, 2007 issue of Q magazine, Stewart recalled: "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 claimed that the name was taken from "... an old Liverpudlian song about a prostitute."
It was initially released as the B-side of the single "Reason to Believe," but DJs in the United States (reportedly in Cleveland, Ohio and at WMEX in Boston) became fonder of the B-side and the song was reclassified, with "Maggie May" becoming the A-side. However, the single continued to be pressed with "Maggie May" as the B-side. The song was Stewart's first substantial hit as a solo performer and launched his solo career. It remains one of his best-known songs. A live performance of the song on Top of the Pops saw the Faces joined onstage by DJ John Peel, who pretended to play the mandolin (the mandolin player on the recording was Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne).
Most versions of "Maggie May" (especially on some Rod Stewart compilations) incorporate a 30-second solo guitar intro, "Henry", composed by Martin Quittenton. The original recording has appeared on almost all Rod Stewart compilations, and even appeared on the Ronnie Wood retrospective, Ronnie Wood Anthology: The Essential Crossexion, complete with "Henry" intro. A version by the Faces recorded for BBC Radio appeared on the four-disc box set Five Guys Walk Into A Bar.... A live version recorded in 1993 by Stewart joined by Wood for a session of MTV Unplugged is included on the album Unplugged...and Seated.
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