Stewart refers to this rocker as one of his "dirty, rude, shagging songs." It tells the story of a young lady who won't leave him alone, wearing him out when she comes by for some lovin' at all hours. We never learn her name and get the sense that he doesn't know it - he just calls her "hot legs."
Many found it objectionable, but it was a believable storyline from Stewart, who was very popular with the ladies. At the time, he was involved with the actress Britt Ekland; he would later marry Alana Hamilton, Rachel Hunter and Penny Lancaster.
You're a rhapsody, a comedy You're a symphony and a play You're every love song ever written
"Hot Legs" represents the more swaggering side of Stewart and remained one of his concert favorites throughout his career.
Stewart is the sole songwriter on this track. It's reminiscent of a song he released with his group Faces in 1971 called "Stay With Me," where he beds a girl but makes sure she's gone by morning. In "Hot Legs," he repeats this request:
You can love me tonight if you want But in the morning make sure you're gone
Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice was a recent addition to Stewart's band and played on this track. Other personell included Billy Peek, Jim Cregan and Gary Grainger on guitars, Phil Kenzie on saxophone, Phil Chen on bass and John Jarvis on organ.
The music video, directed by Bruce Gowers, doubled down on the objectification angle, with most shot framed between the legs of a woman we never see from the front (skinny legs - easier for framing but also the popular look at the time). Shot in the dusty town of Piru, California (outside of Los Angeles), the clip shows Stewart and his band performing the song, hanging out with locals, and riding recklessly on top of a truck - boys will be boys.
This was four years before MTV, but Stewart made videos for most of his singles because there were many outlets in Europe that showed them.
Stewart brought out Tina Turner and her famously hot legs to perform this song when he was musical guest on Saturday Night Live, October 3, 1981. Turner had left her abusive marriage and was struggling to establish herself as a solo artist. Many British artists in particular were huge fans and answered the call when they found out she was struggling. Along with Stewart, Mick Jagger and David Bowie were among those who helped Turner stage a remarkable comeback, culminating with her 1984 album Private Dancer.