The end of the 1970s brought a change to a singer’s sound with Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
Written by Stewart and collaborators Carmine Appice and Duane Hitchings, the song was included on Stewart’s 1978 album Blondes Have More Fun.
Following the disco trend of the late 1970s, Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? had a strong disco and dance influence, leaving behind the blues sound that many fans had associated with Stewart.
As the lead single from Blondes Have More Fun, Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? was released on November 10, 1978, a week before the album released on Riva/Warner Bros. in the United States and United Kingdom.
The song was a radio and dance club success, climbing the charts and hitting the top of the UK charts in December 1978 and the Billboard Hot 100 number one in February 1979 for four weeks.
Stewart donated royalties from the song to UNICEF and performed the song at Music for UNICEF Concert in January 1979, which was held at the United Nations in New York City.
Canada, Portugal, Spain and Australia music charts also had the song hit number one, while the US Billboard Disco charts pushed the song to number one too in 1979.
But the song was challenged by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor, who claimed the song’s chorus was the same as in his popular song Taj Mahal. Stewart agreed to an out of court settlement with Jor, and revealed years later he had heard the Jor’s song while attending carnival in Rio in 1978 and unconsciously used the chorus in Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
As well, Stewart said he used the synthesizer riff from Bobby Womack’s (If You Want My Love) Put Something Down It for the song, saying that it was plagiarism to use the riff not the whole song.
Critics were not as kind to Stewart as fans, feeling he was influenced by the disco craze, but the song has become one of the fan favourites and a club hit that still continues to be used in dance playlists well into the 21st century.