EVERY UK NUMBER ONE: Maggie May

Maggie-May-The-Essential-Collection-cover

What was the number one song in the UK on 9th October 1971?

“Maggie May” by Rod Stewart was Number One on 9th October 1971 and stayed there for five weeks.

This week we are celebrating Rod Stewart – and the fact that Andy Murray has just won his second Wimbledon Title. So rule Britannia Scotland.

“Maggie May” expresses the ambivalence and contradictory emotions of a 16 year old boy 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.

The song was recorded in just two takes in one session. Drummer Micky Waller often arrived at recording sessions with the expectation that a drum kit would be provided and, for “Maggie May”, it was – except that no cymbals could be found. The cymbal crashes had to be overdubbed separately some days later.

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).

Thanks Wikipedia for the info.

Actually this song did reach number 3 on our hit charts here down under. It was a popular songs at parties due to the easy to sing to lyrics.

There is also a kiwi connection as our own Rach (Rachel Hunter) was his second wife. So he was very popular here in New Zealand and has come back a few times to perform here, including my own neighbourhood at a local music festival.

So thanks for visiting – it is back to the future for me.

Raewyn

Do you remember these songs? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @PopAndTalk

The Talk About Pop Music Every UK Number One is now on Spotify. Relive, enjoy and share every song featured up until the latest post…

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