Saturday, November 10, 2018

Songs of '78: "Da' Ya' Think I'm Sexy?"

Nope, not done with the disco of 1978 yet. But "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?," despite--or maybe because of its cheesy title--is so much more than a fine, groovy disco tune; it is, in fact, a sly parody of the stereotypical suave disco-era lover ("He says I sorry / I'm out of milk and coffee / Never mind my sugar / we can watch the early movie")--a perhaps even honest expression by a man in his mid-30s who'd been playing rock and roll for over 15 years who is confronting the club and dance scene. Did I know any of this when I first heard the song? Not at all. But it did scandalize the youthful Mormon me? Not really--even as a kid, I think I realized that the song was, in a sense, one huge put on, revealing a Lothario who was, well, just trying a little too hard.

Anyway, I've never listened to Blondes Have More Fun, the album this single was released off of, 40 years ago today, all the way through (though its title song is also good). I'm fine with that. Rod Stewart was, and I suppose still is, more than anything else a working musician, and he worked with the tools that the moment called for. The result is a wonderfully sleazy tune (made up of not just one, but two plagiarized riffs!), a single that has stuck in my head for decades. I doubt it'll ever leave.

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