Rod Stewart

Maggie May

Song Review by

"Maggie May" broke down all the doors for Rod Stewart upon its release in late summer 1971. If it hadn't, there would have been no justice in the world. While it may have sounded like a slight departure to fans of the Jeff Beck Group or the Faces, the hard rock band he was fronting in 1971, it was not just of piece with the dynamic blend of folk and rock he essayed on his solo records, it was its pinnacle. As the centerpiece of his third album, Every Picture Tells a Story, it occupied a key musical and emotional spot on the record. Draped in glittering, ornate acoustic guitars and mandolins, it was a wonderful blend of epic simplicity, self-deprecating humor and emotional truth, wistful melodies, and rocking rhythms. Stewart's tale may or may not have been autobiographical, but it didn't really matter. What mattered is that every fiber of it felt as if it was true, as if the boy seduced by an older woman really was Stewart. That's not just because of his shaded vocal performance -- not just shaping the delivery of the verses, but how he ad-libs in the coda, "I'll get on back home/One of these days" in a way that sounds every bit as true as the proper song -- or because the music sweeps the listener into the tale (it certainly does that), but because the words are so fully realized. It starts simple and builds, piling up details and wry jokes, always at the expense of the narrator, not "Maggie May." He's acutely aware of his age -- "I suppose I should collect my books and head on back to school/Or steal my daddy's cue and make a living off of playing pool" -- and he can't help but feel used by Maggie, no matter how much he's seduced by her charms. He's at the end of a coming-of-age tale, now wiser, a little embarrassed, and a little regretful, but richer for the experience. And the wondrous thing about it is that the listener feels like they went on the same journey as Stewart. It's like a novella condensed into song, teeming with colorful characters, surprising situations, and unforgettable moments. Stewart made songs as good as this -- the next tune on Every Picture, "Mandolin Wind," was just as good -- but he never topped it, and it continues to define everything that is great about Rod Stewart as a singer and songwriter.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Fiddler On The Roof/Decades Collection 1970s 1971
Various Artists
Metro Goldwyn Mayer 5:45
Sing It Again Rod 1973 Mercury 5:12
The Best of Rod Stewart [Mercury] 1976 Mercury 5:14
Greatest Hits 1979 Warner Bros. 4:56
Mad Max/Decades Collection 1980s 1980
Various Artists
Metro Goldwyn Mayer 5:45
No Image 1981 United Recordings
No Image 1984
Various Artists
MGM / UA
Highs of the 70's, Vol. 1 1987
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 5:46
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
Storyteller: The Complete Anthology, 1964-1990 1989 Rhino 5:47
Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits: 1971 1989
Various Artists
Rhino 5:15
Singers & Songwriters: 40 Hits, All Orignal Recordings [Time-Life] 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Stay with Me 1991 Polygram 5:13
The Mercury Anthology 1992 Mercury / Chronicles 5:46
Rock of the 70's, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 5:18
No Image 1993 Pair
Vintage 1993 Mercury / Polygram 5:17
Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits: 1968-1972 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 5:15
Top Gear [Concept] 1994
Various Artists
Concept 5:15
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd.
Class Reunion 1971: Greatest Hits of 1971 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 5:48
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Special Music
Maggie May: Classic Years 1995 Karussell 5:16
My Favourite Songs 1995 Universal International 5:15
The 70's Come Alive Again 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 5:12
British Rock, Vols. 3-4 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 4:54
The Best of Rod Stewart [Rebound] 1996 Rebound Records 5:48
Handbags & Gladrags 1996 Mercury 5:13
25 Years of Number 1 Hits, Vol. 1 (1970-1971) 1996
Various Artists
Connoisseur
Bang & Olufsen: A New View on Music [Blue Cover] 1996
Various Artists
Polygram 5:13
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Hard Rock Cafe: Classic Rock 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 5:15
The Best of Rod Stewart Featuring the Faces 1997 Wienerworld
No Image 1997 Mercury
WCBS FM 101.1 25th Anniversary, Vol. 3: The 70's - Silver Anniversary Edition 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 5:10
Best of Love: 16 Great Soft Rock Hits 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:14
70's Rock Hits [Rebound] 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records 3:41
The Rock Album 1998 PSM 5:17
Daydream 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:59
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 5:19
Chronicles: 70's Rock Classics 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:59
Soft Rock Classics [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:58
Fantastic 70's 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:15
Sounds of the Seventies: '70s Gold 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Time / Life Music 5:16
The Best of the Best [Insight] 1998
Various Artists
Insight (3)
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Best of Love [Madacy] 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 5:14
Where Were You When the Fun Stopped? 1999 EMI Music Distribution 4:56
Pure 70's 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 5:14
Time in a Bottle: Mellow Rock Classics 1999
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:59
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rod Stewart 1999 Mercury 5:46
With Love [Universal] 1999
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:13
Sounds of the 70's [Global TV] 1999
Various Artists
Global TV 5:10
Classic Rod Stewart: The Universal Masters Collection 1999 Universal International 5:46
Rock On, 1971: Ain't No Sunshine 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:44
Millennium Edition 2000 Universal International 5:48
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1971 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 5:16
Singers & Songwriters: 1974-1975 [2000] 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:15
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:44
Number One 70's 2000
Various Artists
PolyGram 5:13
Amplified 2000
Various Artists
UTV 5:15
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of the '70s 2000
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:15
Casey Kasem: America's Top 10 Through the Years 2000
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 5:16
Radio's Greatest Hits: The '70s 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 5:15
'70s Rock Hits 2001
Various Artists
Compose Records 5:14
Notre Dame University: Fightin' Irish 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 5:08
Planet Groove: The Shaun Ryder Session 2001 PLANET GRO 5:47
Casey Kasem: America's Top 10 Through Years - The 70's 2001
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 5:16
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 5:15
No Image 2001 Mercury / Universal Music 5:16
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1970-1974 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 5:16
The Very Best of Rod Stewart [Warner Bros.] 2001 Warner Bros. 5:46
All Music Guide: Classic Rock 2001
Various Artists
Medalist Entertainment 5:18
A Year in Your Life: 1971, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 5:16
The Story So Far: The Very Best of Rod Stewart 2002 Warner Bros. / WEA International 5:46
Ultimate Power of Love 2002
Various Artists
Madacy 5:14
Dogtown and Z-Boys 2002
Original Soundtrack
Universal Distribution 5:15
Reason to Believe: The Complete Mercury Studio Recordings 2002 Mercury 5:50
Easy, Vol. 3 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:12
It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook [Video] 2003 Sony Music
Sweet Little Rock 'N' Roller/Reasons to Believe/Maggie May 2003 Spectrum Music 5:17
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 0:00
Classic Rock for Dummies 2003
Various Artists
Superb Records 5:15
Changing Faces: The Very Best of Rod Stewart & the Faces 2003 Warner Music 5:14
50 Years of the Greatest Hit Singles Platinum Collection 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:13
Essential 70's [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 5:15
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Brunswick / Universal
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 5:15
Time 100: Music of Our Lives 1960-1980 2004
Various Artists
WEA International 5:15
Friends Reunited: Music of the Year 1971 2004
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 5:00
Best Of British: 50 Golden Years 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Classic Rock Ballads [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Doc Rock presents Campfire Classics 2004
Various Artists
BMG International 4:59
You're the Star 2004 Rremark 4:13
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:57
Rock & Roll Collection 2004 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:17
VH1 Storytellers 2004 Rhino
Mustang 40th Anniversary 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 5:15
Essential Collection 2004 Universal Distribution 5:48
Greatest Collectiion 2004 Platinum Disc 5:17
'70s [Universal 2004] 2004
Various Artists
Universal / USM 5:13
The Number One Musicals Album [2004] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 5:13
Best #1 Singles in the World Ever 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:13
1S - 38 of the Greatest Number 1 Singles of All Time 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:12
Classic Rock Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:46
Lords of Dogtown 2005
Original Soundtrack
Geffen 5:15
Naughty But Nice 2005
Various Artists
Family Recordings 5:08
Very Best of FM Lovearth 2005 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Gold 2005 Mercury / Universal Music 5:50
Ultimate Seventies 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
'70s: Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:42
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Industrie
Disky Friends Reunited 1971 2006
Various Artists
Universal / Spectrum 5:00
#1 Hits of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 5:45
Rock Giants, Vol. 1 [BR] 2006
Various Artists
BR Music
Colour Collection 2006 Universal Distribution / Mercury 5:48
Ronnie Wood Anthology: The Essential Crossexion 2006 Virgin 5:48
Greatest Ever! Easy: The Definitive Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music 5:14
Solitudes: Songs for Open Road 2006 Platinum Legends 5:13
Greatest Ever! Number 1's: The Definitive Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music 5:13
#1 Rock and Roll Hits 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:45
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Brunswick / Universal 5:47
Classic Rock [Universal 2006] 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:46
Classic Rock [Immortal] 2007
Various Artists
Immortal
Greatest Ever! Seventies 2007
Various Artists
Union Square Music 5:13
Number 1's: '70s Pop 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:42
Ultimate Hits: Best of the '70s 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 3:38
The Seventies Collection 2007 Mercury 5:11
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:16
Get Ready, Here Come the '70s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 5:13
Classic Rock Number 1s 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:46
Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:16
Music for Seventies 2007
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 5:13
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 3:43
Carrie: 1970s Decades Collection 2007
Various Artists
MGM 5:45
Playlist Plus: Classic Rock 2008
Various Artists
Hip-O
Dad's Jukebox 2008
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 5:13
Driving Songs: The Ultimate Collection 2008
Various Artists
Ultimate / Ultimate Entertainment 5:11
High Fidelity Hits of 70's FM 2008
Various Artists
Rhino 5:15
Jackie: The Album, Vol. 2 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 5:13
The Definitive Rod Stewart 2008 Warner Bros. 5:47
Ultimate 70s Collection [Collectables] 2008
Various Artists
Collectables 5:13
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal 5:46
Rock & Roll '70s 2009
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:45
Dad Rocks! 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:12
No Image 2009 Universal 5:47
The Definitive Collection 1969-1978 2009 Mercury 5:47
The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 2009 Stiefel Entertainment / Warner Bros. / Rhino / WB Records 5:27
Playlist Your Way 2009 Island / Island Def Jam Music Group / Mercury 5:47
Total Drivetime 2010
Various Artists
Universal 5:15
School of "Rock 'n' Roll": 70s 2010
Various Artists
Collectables 5:13
Icon 2010 Island / Mercury 5:47
Singers & Songwriters [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:49
No Image 2011
Various Artists
Universal 5:46
Greatest Ever! Pop: The Definitive Collection 2011
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 5:13
My Songs 2011
Various Artists
UMTV 3:42
Podium: La Magie d'une Époque 2011
Various Artists
UMSM / Universal 3:42
Best of the Best [Universal] 2011
Various Artists
Universal Music Group 3:47
Now That's What I Call Classic Rock Hits 2012
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 0:00
The Boys Are Back in Town 2012 2012
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:42
Latest & Greatest: Great British Artists 2012
Various Artists
USM Media 5:12
Maggie May: The Essential Collection 2012 Spectrum Music 5:14
Now That's What I Call a No. 1 2012
Various Artists
EMI / Joint Venture 4:56
Legendary Hits 2012 Mercury Records 3:42
Decades 2012 Universal 5:46
Icons of Rock 2012
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:41
Party Rock 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:46
Rarities 2013 Island / Mercury 5:30
Best of Classic Rock 2014
Various Artists
Universal 5:13
Now That's What I Call Legends 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music / Universal Music TV 3:43
NOW: 25 Top Hits of the 1970's 2014
Various Artists
Universal 5:17
No Image 2015
Various Artists
Universal
Now That's What I Call Classic Rock [2015] 2015
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:44
No Image 2015
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:45
Greatest Ever! Musicals [2016] 2016
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Throwback Tunes: Classic Rock 2017
Various Artists
Hip-O / Universal 3:43
Acoustic '70s [Warner] 2017
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music
No. 1 Dad: The Ultimate Collection 2017
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection
Handbags & Gladrags: The Essential Rod Stewart 2018 Universal 5:46
101 Hits: No. 1 Dad 2018
Various Artists
UMC / Universal
Classic Road Trip [UMOD] 2018
Various Artists
UMOD / Universal
Rock Legends: The Ultimate Collection 2018
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square Music
The Ultimate Collection: 70s 2019
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection
The Sound of the Musicals [2019] 2019
Various Artists
Union Square Music
'70s [Universal 2019]
Various Artists
Universal
100 Rock
Various Artists
Universal 5:12
101 70's Hits [Spectrum]
Various Artists
Spectrum Music / Universal
101 70s Rock Anthems
Various Artists
Spectrum Music / Universal
101 Drivetime
Various Artists
UMC
101 Jukebox Hits
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
101 Power Ballads [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal 3:38
20 #1's: Classic Rock
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:14
70s Mixtape
Various Artists
UMe / Universal 5:48
Anti-Valentine
Various Artists
Universal 3:44
BBC Radio 2's Tracks of My Years With Ken Bruce Universal Music TV 3:41
Best 1200 70's
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing 5:49
Best of British [Universal]
Various Artists
EMI / Universal Distribution / Universal Music TV 3:42
Brit Awards 2015
Various Artists
Warner Music 3:42
Campfire Classics
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
No Image
Various Artists
Chanel
Classic Rock Icons
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Music 5:15
No Image
Various Artists
Word Distribution
Dad's Jukebox: The Very Best Of The 60's, 70's & 80's
Various Artists
Universal 5:15
De Pre Historie: 1971, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 5:13
Easy like Sunday Morning [UMOD]
Various Artists
UMOD
No Image
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing 5:49
Greatest Ever 70s Rock
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Greatest Ever! Dad Rock
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Happy & Glorious
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:44
No Image
Various Artists
Sire 5:10
Hits of The 70's [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / PSM 5:16
No Image
Various Artists
Polygram
I Am Sad
Various Artists
Polystar / Universal Music 5:45
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 3:43
Legends [Ministry of Sound]
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:48
Len's Legends: Best of British
Various Artists
Sony Music
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 5:47
Listen to the Music
Various Artists
Rhino 3:43
Love 70's [International Version]
Various Artists
Universal 5:14
Now 100 Hits: Classic Rock
Various Artists
Now!
Now That's What I Call '70s
Various Artists
Now!
Now That's What I Call Dad Rock
Various Artists
Now That's What I Call a Singer
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:40
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 5:46
Party Rock: Magic Carpet Ride
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:46
Pop Muzik
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 5:47
Rock & Romance Collection
Various Artists
Time Life 5:47
Rock Ballads: Ultimate Collection
Various Artists
Ultimate
Rockin' Summer
Various Artists
Somerset Group 5:15
Songs for You
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
No Image
Original Soundtrack
Rhino
The Best Rock Anthems ...Ever!
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:12
No Image Encore
No Image
Various Artists
Life Music / Time / Time Life 5:14
The Driving Album
Various Artists
Universal
The Greatest Seventies Album
Various Artists
Rhino / WEA 4:58
The Nation's Favourite '70s Number Ones
Various Artists
Rhino 3:42
Top of the Pops: 1970-1974
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:42
Total Hits, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Universal 3:42
WCBS FM 101.1: The Anniversary Album - The 70s
Various Artists
Collectables 5:13
Windswept Pacific
Various Artists
Longitude