G.O.A.T.: MAGGIE MAY by Rod Stewart (1971)

THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time.  The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so.

I am not a Rod Stewart fan, but I sing this song every day.  Because I have an evil puggle named after the youngest child on The Simpsons.  So I greet her every morning by singing, “Maggie, I wish I’d never seen your face.”  Then I feed her.  She loves it.

But that line may be the greatest dis in rock and roll history.  It’s sung in a ballad, a love song, an ode to this woman, that starts off as a May/December seduction and ends in ruin.  And Stewart has said that he wrote the song about a real, older woman and named her after a song about a British hooker.  So there’s another dis.

Maggie May was first released as a B-side to Reason to Believe, but it ended up being even more popular than the single.  It became a monster hit, and solidified his reputation as a solo act—having just split from The Faces.

Further listening: Stewart has had tons of hits, but I’m not a huge fan of any of them.  I suppose the closest I’d put him to getting any other GOATs would be Tonight’s The Night (a great loss-of-virginity tune), Young Turks, or You Wear It Well.  He’s also had some of the most fun cornball hits, like Do Ya Think I’m Sexy and Some Guys Have All The Luck, and has performed strong covers of The First Cut Is The Deepest, Downtown Train, and Have I Told You Lately?

Covers: Surprisingly, although there are many, most suck.
First, an easy listening instrumental version…

Here’s a really cool, gentle folky version…

If the Rolling Stones did an acoustic version, it might sound like this…

I don’t know if Grey Season are from Brooklyn, but they sure look like they are…

Okay, now we’ll move to the bigger named bands. Here’s Blur. It’s terrible.

And here’s Wet Wet Wet. Also bad.

And there’s the best of the lot. Saved it for last.

Related Posts

About The Author