Legs

Album: Eliminator (1983)
Charted: 16 8

Songfacts®:

  • In a 1985 interview with Spin magazine, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons explained the inspiration for this song: "I was driving in Los Angeles, and there was this unusual downpour. And there was a real pretty girl on the side of the road. I passed her, and then I thought, 'Well, I'd better pull over' or at least turn around and offer her a ride, and by the time I got back she was gone. Her legs were the first thing I noticed. Then I noticed that she had a Brooke Shields hairdo that was in danger of falling. She was not going to get wet. She had legs and she knew how to use them."
  • Feminist groups criticized this song for objectifying women, although ZZ Top had been releasing songs with playful, yet sexually charged lyrics for years. Their first hit was "Tush" in 1975, which was probably more offensive, but the band was less popular then so it drew fewer protests.
  • The video was very popular. Just like their videos for "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Sharp Dressed Man," it featured Billy Gibbons' 1933 Ford Hot Rod, which he called The Eliminator. The big difference in "Legs" is that the main character is a girl.

    The video had the same director (Tim Newman) and featured the three "Eliminator Girls," but instead of sweeping a guy off in the Eliminator, the models rescue a girl who desperately needs some confidence. They give her a makeover and teach her how to handle guys to get what she wants.

    The band also appeared in the clip, but were secondary to the girls and the car. Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill had been growing their beards for four years, so they were instantly recognizable, and the shot of their fuzzy guitars rotating when they took their hands off the instruments became a classic early-MTV image. The network was in its third year and did not have a huge amount of videos in its library, and "Legs" became a mainstay.
  • Eliminator was the first ZZ Top album to use synthesizers. The new sound, along with the exposure on MTV, helped the album sell over 10 million copies.
  • Two of the girls in the video were Playboy models: Jeana Tomasino (later Jeana Keogh) was Miss November, 1980, and Kymberly Herrin (in the red top) was Miss March, 1981. They joined Daniele Arnaud as the Eliminator Girls.

    Tomasino and Arnaud also starred in the first two ZZ Top videos, which featured a third girl that Herrin replaced for "Legs." The girl who gets the makeover is Wendy Frazier.

    The car and the Eliminator Girls returned for one more ZZ Top video: "Sleeping Bag."
  • From a songwriting perspective, this one hits the mark as one that is instantly understood on a universal level, which gave it huge hit potential. Craig Goldy, who was a guitarist in the band Dio and later became a staff songwriter at Warner Bros., told us: "'She's got legs, she knows how to use 'em.' The first two lines, the story's done. Nobody's going, 'What's this song about?'"
  • ZZ Top cut a multimillion dollar deal in 1988 for this to be used in a series of TV commercials for L'Eggs pantyhose.
  • In 2002, Kid Rock recorded this for the World Wrestling Federation album WWF Forced Entry in tribute to WWF diva Stacy Keibler.
  • When the MTV-influenced TV series Miami Vice launched in 1984, they used lots of contemporary music, including "Legs" in the first season episode "Milk Run." ZZ Top's "Tush" and "Sharp Dressed Man" were also used in the series.

    Miami Vice is one of the few live-action shows to use "Legs"; animated shows that have used it include King of the Hill ("Hank Gets Dusted - 2007"), American Dad! ("Finances with Wolves" - 2006) and The Simpsons ("Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" - 1999).

Comments: 15

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenAnd when the "feminist" groups started whining, the song's sales started climbing!
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with the girls in this video, including what they are doing now and never-published pics: http://noblemania.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-girl-in-video-legs-1984-part-1-of-3.html
  • Jeff from Boston, MaI'm just surprised some idiot hasn't posted to explain to us how this song is really about drugs.
  • Jason from Denver, CoTo ALL the ladies reading these comments. LEGS is the word of the day. So uh please SPREAD the WORD!!
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlI agree with Ed from Incongnito..this was not ZZ's best effort. The video was a beginning of a series of videos that were however, sexy and fun to watch. The song was very synthasized as was the ramainder of the album. When I saw them in concert, it was hard for them to keep up with the syncronized rythem tracks that had been pre-recorded. THEY STILL ROCKED THE HOUSE THOUGH!!
  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --I read in an issue of guitar world that the orgins of the song came when:one day in Texas the three were in there car and they saw a beautiful women and it was raining hard out. So they were going to offer her a ride but before they knew it she was gone. One of the members jokes "She's got legs,and she knows how to use them".Thus the song came about. That might not be the exact story I will try to find the article later and post it on here.
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArIsn't it ironic that the only ZZ Topper without a beard was named Beard?
  • Ed from Incognito, IlOne of my all-time favorite bands, altho I was HIGHLY disappointed with this song/album...it was a clear sign that they were departing from the vocals/guitar/bass/drums genre which made them my favorite in favor of the computer-generated, synthesized crap that you see before you. ugh!
  • Dave from Coal Valley, IlZZ-Top rocked back then, awesome videos with nice cars and even nicer looking girls!
  • Big And Tall from Yeehaw Junction, FlBefore MTV became BET and stopped playing videos, this song's video was in heavy rotation. Cool cars, hot women, great tune. It's about little more than womens' legs, definitely NOT about some little girl's legs "sh*t I gotta have 'em" not usually thought about pertaining to toddler legs.
  • Joe from Bellingham, WaNo, I heard this son isn't about ladies, its about frank beard,or one of them's daughter learning how to walk. She's like 1 years old and she knows how to use them. I could be wrong, because I thought it was about ladies.
  • David from Youngstown, OhThe song is brilliant in its simplicity. It's about a woman who's got damn great legs, she realizes it and she uses it to her advantage backed up by a catchy riff and a synthesizer.
  • Michael from Nelson, NcIf you listen carefully you'll note that the line "Oh, I want her, said, I got to have her"- which must be from the liner notes is actually "Oh, I want her, sh*t, I got to have her"
  • Steve from Raynham, MaI think this is one of the catchiest songs every made. Its many favorite song ever next to Dire Strait's "skateaway"
  • Ariel from Woodbridge, CtKid Rock did a version of this for WWE Diva Stacy Keibler to use as her enterance theme
see more comments

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