How one of Rod Stewart’s greatest hits almost didn’t happen

Mar 14, 2024
"They didn’t want it on the album, in fact it nearly didn’t go on the album." Source: Getty Images.

Rod Stewart, the legendary musician whose name is synonymous with timeless hits, recently revealed the fascinating backstory behind one of his most beloved songs.

In a candid interview with Access Hollywood, the 79-year-old reflected on the creation of Maggie May, a classic ballad that almost didn’t make it onto his groundbreaking album, Every Picture Tells a Story, released in 1971.

Despite boasting a plethora of chart-topping tracks, it was Stewart’s third album that truly catapulted him to superstardom. Every Picture Tells a Story soared to the top of charts worldwide, thanks in part to the unforgettable charm of Maggie May.

However, as Stewart revealed, the song’s inclusion on the album was far from assured.

“They didn’t want it on the album, in fact it nearly didn’t go on the album,” he told Access Hollywood.

“The record company said, ‘We only have eight tracks, we need one more track!’

“And I said, ‘I’ve got this thing hanging about, these are the lyrics,’ and a DJ turned it over, because it was on the B side.

“It was put on the A side, and that was it, and I’ll drink to that.”


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Stewart’s musical journey certainly doesn’t stop there, with the legendary performer showing no signs of slowing down.

Amidst a packed schedule that would leave performers half his age gasping for breath, Stewart is set to mark several significant milestones.

Foremost among them is his 200th show at his Las Vegas residency, a testament to his enduring appeal and unmatched stage presence.

Yet, Stewart isn’t content to rest on his laurels. Currently embarked on a world tour, he’s taking his electrifying performances to audiences across the globe.

However, the pièce de résistance of Stewart’s year undoubtedly lies in the announcement of his upcoming swing album, Swing Fever. Teaming up with the legendary Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Stewart is poised to transport listeners back to the golden age of Big Band music.

Featuring timeless tunes like Pennies From Heaven, Lullaby of Broadway, and Sentimental Journey, the album promises to be a melodic journey unlike any other.

But even amidst the whirlwind of his musical endeavours, Stewart remains steadfast in his commitment to his craft, signalling a resolute determination to keep the rhythm of his career beating strong.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the inevitable question about retirement came up. Stewart, however, dismissed the notion entirely, stating, “I mean it wouldn’t be for me to judge, but I imagine if people stop buying tickets for concerts and don’t buy records anymore maybe that’s a sign.”

“I don’t know. The word retirement is not in my vocabulary at the moment because I’m enjoying myself,” he added.

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