Hot Legs

Album: Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977)
Charted: 5 28

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

    It was also tempered by Stewart's more sensitive songs, like his previous single "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)," where he sings:

    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.
  • This became a signature song for Tina Turner, who has famously hot legs. In the late '70s, she started performing it, and in 1981 sang it with Tom Jones on his variety show (this version was released as a single in 1997). Stewart brought out Turner to perform the song when he was musical guest on Saturday Night Live, October 3, 1981.

    By this time, Turner had left her abusive marriage to Ike Turner 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. Two weeks before that album was released, an American Tina Turner fan, Lionel Richie, brought her along as opening act on his Can't Slow Down tour. During his set, Richie revived "Hot Legs," bringing Turner on stage during his set to perform it.

Comments: 2

  • Randall from UsaWho was the woman in the hot legs video from California, also why did they never show her face?
  • Melinda from AustraliaThis is one of my all time favourites of Rod Stewart songs. It’s controversial for its subject. And lyrics. But really..... it’s pretty tame compared to what they get away with saying in modern songs.
    The lyrics or story within this song have only ever seemed autobiographical to me.
    It’s the story of Rod Stewards life.
    It’s obvious.
    He was known to have legions of girls ... groupies after him. Principally because he was just so good looking. And confident with it.
    He definitely had an aura about him.
    That was irresistible.
    He was a reckless bad boy. The type that young girls can’t help an attraction for.
    Did he kick groupies out before the morning ? As he claims in Hot Legs. I think so.
    He’s always been very business minded. Even when he was right into cocaine. But he wasn’t faithful in relationships until he met and married Rachael Hunter.
    Rod Stewart is one of the hardest working performers of his generation.
    His early music, like Hot Legs seems completely unknown to recent generations.
    Which is a damn shame.
    Modern musicians could learn a thing or 2 from Rod Stewart songs.
    The construction of them.
    And the way he tells a story with lyrics.
    He’s very talented in that way.
    And. Like few entertainers, you can tell he’s having a good time while performing
    He makes it fun.
    David Lee Roth was the same.
see more comments

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