Pop-Up Video: "D'Ya Think I'm Sexy" (1979)

Da Ya Think I'm Sexy
Single by: Rod Stewart
Released: November 10, 1978
Genre: Disco

"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart, known for his soulful blues and folk ballads, was a disco song that alienated many of his old fans who remembered Rod as a member of a hard-rocking group, The Faces. The track spent four weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and ranked number four on their Top Singles of 1979 year-end chart. 

Stewart earned Grammy nominations in three different genres in 1980. "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" was nominated for Best Pop Vocal, Male, and for Best Disco Recording. For his rock fans, he was nominated Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, for "Blondes (Have More Fun)." Rolling Stone magazine ranked Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" at Number 308 in its 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Funky Fever
"Rod decided to do a spoof on disco."
Carmine Appice, drummer
"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" was written by Rod Stewart, Carmine Appice and Duane Hitchings. Appice played drums on The Rolling Stones' "Miss You" single and wrote most of the music for  "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?." He said in a  Songfacts interview:

The Rolling Stones 1979
The Rolling Stones 1979

"We were in the studio and 'Miss You' by The Rolling Stones was a big hit. Rod was always a guy that used to listen to what was going on around him. He was always looking at the charts and listening. He was a big fan of The Rolling Stones, so when they came out with "Miss You," disco was really big at the time, so he wanted to do some kind of disco-y song."


Copy Cat
"Clearly the melody had lodged itself in my memory. 
Unconscious plagiarism, plain and simple."
For this track, Rod Stewart plagiarized Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor's song "Taj Mahal." A copyright infringement lawsuit was filed and the case was "settled amicably" in Ben Jor's favor. Stewart admitted in his 2012 autobiography to "unconscious plagiarism."

Jorge Ben Jor 1976
 Jorge Ben Jor

He also confessed to consciously lifting the synthesizer riff from the string arrangement on Bobby Womack's song "(If You Want My Love) Put Something Down On It." But Stewart contends it's legal to lift a line from any arrangement as long as the core melody line is not copied.


Disco Demolition

The war on disco music began. A Chicago disc jockey, Steve Dahl, released a parody of Stewart's tune called "Do You Think I'm Disco?." Then Dahl hosted a Major League Baseball promotion, Disco Demolition Night, on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago. 

Disco Demolition Night July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
Disco Demolition Night

Fans were offered reduced admission for bringing unwanted disco records to a double-header between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. Between games the DJ blew up the discs. A huge crowd, there for mayhem rather than the baseball, rushed the field, tearing up the grass and making the second game unplayable.

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