Here's a question: How often does a recording artist come out with(possibly) their greatest song right out of the gate? Back in 1971, on August 14, Rod Stewart released his first(and to some, BEST) hit single, 'Maggie May'. That was 47 years ago, and Rod has released some pretty awesome songs since then, but have any really topped that first one?

Even radio stations at the time seemed to sense the song's importance because 'Maggie May' was actually the FLIP SIDE of the record company's choice for the first single which was Rod's version of Tim Hardin's 'Reason To Believe', a great song in itself. Radio programmers eventually noticed the song on the 'B-side', decided they liked it, and started playing that song instead.

The rest is history. A song that went to #1 on both sides of the Atlantic and was written about, according to Rod, his first sexual experience with a woman. By the way, her name was NOT Maggie May. Discretion really is the better part of valor, hey, Rod?

On a side note, if you love the song 'Maggie May', but have never heard the album it's from, you really should give it a listen sometime. 'Every Picture Tells A Story' is actually Rod's third solo album, but it's usually given the credit for launching his huge solo career. The album also hit #1 in the U.S. and the U.K. around the same time 'Maggie May' was hitting the top spot. The album features appearances by all the members of the Faces(the band that Rod was lead vocalist for at the time), his buddy Ron Wood(guitar player now with the Rolling Stones) being the most prominent. And in addition to 'Maggie May' and 'Reason To Believe', other standouts include the title track 'Every Picture Tells A Story' with great backing vocals from Maggie Bell, the excellent 'Mandolin Wind', and some great covers(Rod was a stellar interpreter) such as Dylan's song 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time' and a rockin' version of the Temptations '(I Know) I'm Losing You'. The album regularly ranks high on Best Rock Album lists and is truly a great listen, especially if you want to hear a young rock and roll star finding his feet.

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