By 1971, the flip-side of 'Reason to Believe', 'Maggie May' started gaining attention with the DJ's and made Rod a household name with 'Every Picture Tells A Story'. Both the album and the singe hit the top position in the U.S. and U. K. at the same time in September. A loss of innocence tale set off by a striking mandolin part (by Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne). "Maggie May" was also named in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, (one of 3 songs by him to appear on that list). Other tracks on the album benefiting from the mandolin was, understandably "Mandolin Wind" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You" giving it just a taste of hard-edged soul. "Tomorrow is a Long Time" was one of the best British Bob Dylan covers, however the conclusive demonstration of Rod's early solo style was the Stewart-Wood-penned "Every Picture Tells a Story" the mainly acoustic arrangement, together with Mick Waller's outstanding drum playing (which was a fast, rocking picaresque adventure of his past adventures.
By early 1971, Faces released their second album, 'Long Player' which had better success at the charts than their first album, 'First Step'. 'Stay With Me', Faces' third album gave them their only top 40was released in early 1971 which enjoyed greater chart success than First Step. In late 1971, Faces got their only US top forty hit with "Stay With Me " from their third album 'A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse' when the album rested at the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic, back to back with the success of 'Every Picture Tells A Story.'
Throughout this period there was a huge gap between Rod's solo and group work, Rod's solo being carefully crafted while the group leaned more towards the boozy and sloppy. The Faces were effectively unable to duplicate Rod's 's solo work in concert, which would be reflected in the Rod Stewart/Faces Live album. Proper interpretation of those songs would have to wait another 20 years until Rod made an appearance on MTV's Unplugged. Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols highly respected The Faces and named them as one of Britain's main influences on the Punk Rock movement.