Is She Really Going Out with Him?

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"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
Single by Joe Jackson
from the album Look Sharp!
B-side "You Got the Fever" (UK)
"(Do the) Instant Mash" (US)
Released September 1978
Recorded 1976
Genre Rock, new wave
Length 3:33
Label A&M - AMS 7392
Writer(s) Joe Jackson
Producer(s) David Kershenbaum
Joe Jackson singles chronology
"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
"Sunday Papers"

"Is She Really Going Out with Him?" is the first single released by British musician Joe Jackson in September 1978.[1] The track, which saw greater commercial success upon being reissued in 1979, was included on Jackson's debut album, Look Sharp!, the following year.


According to Joe Jackson, the song originated from when he heard the title. From there, he came up with the basis for the song lyrics of "pretty women" dating "gorillas." He said of the songs origins in an interview:

Now, that is just one of those songs that started with the title. I heard that phrase somewhere and I thought that could be a kind of funny song about gorgeous girls going out with monsters. It just started from there. It was just a funny song, or supposed to be funny. It was a great surprise to me when some people interpreted it as being angry.

—Joe Jackson, Songfacts, 2012[2]

Initially being released as a single in 1978, the song saw little chart success, failing to chart in both Britain and America. However, when the single was re-issued the single in the summer of 1979 (catalogue number AMS 7459), the song saw greater success, reaching #13 in Britain and #21 in America.[1][3] It also appeared in the charts in Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.[4]

The UK B-side of the single, "You Got the Fever" was a non-album track that later appeared as a bonus track on later reissues of Look Sharp! In the US, however, "(Do the) Instant Mash," which also appeared on Look Sharp!, was issued as the B-side instead.

An alternate recording of the song was released as the B-side to Jackson's l1981 single, "Beat Crazy." The song was featured in the 1998 romantic comedy film, There's Something About Mary, The Simpsons episode Rome-old and Juli-eh and Live From Daryl's House episode No. 3 with the Plain White T's.

Live performances[edit]

Live versions appeared on Live 1980/86 (containing three versions of the song including an acoustic version and an a cappella doo-wop version)", on Two Rainy Nights in 2002, and on the bonus CD of Volume 4 in 2003.

Current performances usually have a call and response aspect to the refrain "somethin's goin' wrong around here" with the audience repeating the phrase, and Jackson echoing all or part of it back again. This developed as reaction to audience sing-along, which at times appeared to annoy him, but he has since come to embrace the audience's love for the song.


Chart (1979) Peak
UK Singles Chart 13
Australia Singles Chart 15
Canada Singles Chart 9
Netherlands Singles Chart 46
New Zealand Singles Chart 18
Billboard Hot 100 21

Cover versions[edit]

Kid Courageous version[edit]

"Is She Really Going Out With Him?"
Single by Kid Courageous
from the album Dear Diary
Released 2005
Format CD single
Recorded 2003
Genre Punk, pop
Label Rock Sugar
Writer(s) Joe Jackson
Kid Courageous chronology
"Is She Really Going Out With Him?"
"Life's A Movie"

"Is She Really Going Out With Him?" is the first single released by Australian pop punk band Kid Courageous. The song is a cover of Joe Jackson's 1978 single. It was #1 on night radio for a total of 11 weeks.[5] The track was also charted #25 on the ARIA Singles Charts and #3 on the Australian Independent Charts.[6] It was the bands most successful single.

Other versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 485–486. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ MacIntosh, Dan. "Joe Jackson interview". 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Wikipedia, Kid Courageous. Retrieved 11/04/2013
  6. ^

External links[edit]