February 1979: Rod Stewart Scores "Sexy," Simultaneous No. 1s

Rod Stewart in 1979
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Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Rod Stewart’s lived a life that can safely be described as successful, but if you had to narrow down some of the better months and years in his history, February of 1979 would surely rank among them - a period which found him securing the top spot not only on the Billboard 200 with his album Blondes Have More Fun but also on the Billboard Hot 100 with his single “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

Originally released on Nov. 17, 1978, Blondes Have More Fun was Stewart’s ninth studio album, and it found the former Rod the Mod dipping his toe in a decidedly different musical genre than the one which provided him with that nickname.

Yes, we regret to inform you that this was the album on which Rod Stewart went disco. But you have to understand: we’re talking about a period in music history when every from Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones to Ethel Merman was doing it disco-style at least a little bit...although you have to say that, of the artists we just cited, Merman’s definitely the one who said, “If I’m gonna go disco, I’m going all the way, baby!”

With Rod’s release, however, you have to admit that while he might’ve utilized some of the musical trappings of disco, the lascivious lyrics and delivery he utilized on “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” were something with which he already had more than a passing familiarity. It also must be said that we’re not talking about an album oozing disco beats out of every groove, as is evidenced by the album’s second single, “Ain’t Love a Bitch,” which is a classic Stewart shuffle that could’ve come from any of his previous albums and even goes so far as to namecheck “Maggie” before hitting the chorus.

Read More: October 1971: Rod Stewart Wakes Up at No. 1 with "Maggie May"

Similarly, the title track is a rockabilly-styled rave-up wherein he sounds like he’s having at least as much fun as the (other) blondes he’s singing about.

Truth be told, it isn’t until the tail end of the album that things really venture back into the rock-disco mold in a big way, courtesy of songs like “Standing in the Shadows of Love” and “Last Summer,” which features flute and sounds rather like an attempt by Rod to deliver a Bee Gees-style ballad.

Read More: Forever Young: Rod Stewart's Biggest Hits

Blondes Have More Fun may not be one of Stewart’s more substantive ‘70s albums, but it’s one of the most popular, which means it continues to have its fans, though the majority of them still keep coming back because of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” - a song which has been covered more than a few times over the years. If we had to pick a favorite of those covers, we’d have to go with the live version done by Tiny Tim on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. You may find yourself struggling to make it to the end, but trust us: it’s worth it just to see the expression on Carson’s face.

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