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"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.

"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 Beaulieu Jazz Festival." [1] The reference to returning to school in "late September" refers to the Michaelmas term, the first academic term of the academic year of many British and Irish universities.

It was initially released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of the single "Reason to Believe," but DJs became fonder of the B-side and, after two weeks on the charts, 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.

In October 1971, the song went to number one in the UK and simultaneously topped the charts in the United States. Every Picture Tells a Story achieved the same status at the same time, a feat achieved by only a handful of performers, most notably The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel.

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 famous 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). Stewart himself was amused by the song's success, saying, "I still can't see how the single is such a big hit. It has no melody. Plenty of character and nice chords, but no melody."[citation needed]

The song re-entered the UK charts in December 1976, but only reached number 31.

Oddly, in the days of Top-40 Hit Radio, when songs were released for airplay and to the public on 45RPM singles, "Maggie May" was not edited in any way or fashion. The full 5:15 version was pressed to single, even though its multiple refrains & 5-bar mandolin solo could have been easily taken to edit. Perhaps it was because "Maggie May" was initially only meant to be a B-side single, and many B-sides are left intact without editing.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the song #130 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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Quick Tip by . August 14, 2010
posted in Music Matters
He was big while I was in college. Listened to him all the time, not so much anymore.
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