Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Rod Stewart

Song Review by Stewart Mason

Some people say it was the Atlantic Crossing album, when Rod Stewart once and for all left the U.K. for the glitz of the American nightlife. Some say it was when the Faces broke up. There are even some diehards who were with him up until the simply indefensible 1986 single "Love Touch." But for most people, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" marks the exact point at which it stopped being possible to take Rod Stewart seriously. For many, it was the fact that Stewart was one of the first high-profile old-school rockers to make the leap into disco; the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" preceded it by a few months, but that song wasn't as much of a conceptual leap for the Stones, who had always had a strong dance and R&B streak in their music. But "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" not only is disco, it's Giorgio Moroder-style Euro-disco, with a synthed-up sound that made it sound like the guy who had sung "Maggie May" was reduced to following trends. More to the point, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" is just kinda...well, sleazy. The problem isn't even that it's sleazy, because sleaze always has its place in rock & roll, but that it's so banal in its plotline: guy goes out on the pull, succeeds, the pull-ee sticks around in the morning. That's pretty much it, and it's just kind of dull, with little wit and surprisingly, almost nothing in terms of actual sexiness. (For an amusing deconstruction of the song, find ex-Mott the Hoople keyboardist Morgan Fisher's post-punk solo album as the Hybrid Kids, which has a hilariously twitchy proto-industrial take on the song that makes the storyline sound even more banal and mechanical.) And then it turns out that the song wasn't even original: the main hook of the chorus melody ("If you want my body and you think I'm sexy," etc.) was eventually revealed to be a note-for-note steal from Brazilian singer/songwriter Jorge Ben's "Taj Mahal." Ben sued, successfully, and directed that future royalties from the song be donated to UNICEF.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Blondes Have More Fun 1978 Warner Bros. 5:31
Storyteller: The Complete Anthology, 1964-1990 1989 Rhino 5:29