Saturday, February 10, 1979

Rod Stewart hit #1 with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”

First posted 3/7/2021; updated 3/16/2021.

Da Ya Think I’m Sexy

Rod Stewart

Writer(s): Rod Stewart, Carmine Appice, Duane Hitchings (see lyrics here)


Released: November 10, 1978


First Charted: November 18, 1978


Peak: 14 US, 15 CB, 15 HR, 16 RR, 5 RB, 1 CL, 11 UK, 14 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.5 UK, 3.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 155.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” gave Stewart his third chart-topping hit after “Maggie May” in 1971 and “Tonight’s the Night” in 1976. The song reached #1 in the United States, Australia, Canada, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It was a top 10 hit in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.

According to Carmine Appice, who had recently joined Stewart’s band and co-wrote the song, Stewart “was always looking at the charts and listening. He was a big fan of the Rolling Stones…so he wanted to do some kind of disco-y song, something like ‘Miss You.’” SF Some fans and critics thought his “defection to disco was unforgivable.” BR1 Critic Greil Marcus said in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll “rarely has anyone betrayed his talent so completely.” BR1

It’s also been said it “could be the worst example of narcissim on record.” KL While the song certainly played on Stewart’s image as an international playboy, he insisted he was singing in the third person. KL Co-writer Duane Hitchings said the song was “a spoof on guys from the ‘cocaine lounge lizards’ of the Saturday Nightr Fever days.” WK

The song also stirred claims of plagiarism from Brazilian songwriter Jorge Ben. He said the melody of “Da Ya” was stolen from his song “Taj Mahal.” BR1 While it never reached court, reissues of the song have credited Ben KL and Stewart donated the royalties from the song to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). WK Stewart admitted to “unconscious plagiarism” in his 2012 autobiography. WK He also said the “song’s signature synthesizer riff” came from Bobby Womack’s “If You Want My Love Put Something Down on It.” WK


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Rod Stewart
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 497.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 243.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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