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Single by Steps
from the album Step One
A-side "5,6,7,8"
B-side "Words of Wisdom"
Released November 1997 (1997-11)
Format CD single
Recorded 1997
Studio PWL Studios
Genre Techno-pop
Length 3:22
Steps singles chronology
"Last Thing on My Mind"
"Last Thing on My Mind"

"5,6,7,8" is a song by British group Steps from their debut studio album, Step One (1998). It is a techno-pop song written Barry Upton and Steve Crosby, and produced by Karl Twigg, Mark Topham and Pete Waterman. It was released as their debut single following their being put together after each group member responded to a magazine advert looking for people to audition to be in a pop band. It garnered a negative review from Peter Robinson of NME and peaked at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart - one of their lowest chart positions - but has become the third best-selling single of their career in the United Kingdom, selling 365,000 copies and receiving 3,440,000 streams as of March 2017. It has been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments exceeding 400,000 in sales and streams. Its accompanying music video was shot on a beach and features the group driving quad bikes and dancing in a bar. "5,6,7,8" was performed on their sixth concert tour, The Ultimate Tour, in 2012.

Background and composition[edit]

Steps were put together in 1997 following an advert in a magazine, The Stage, asking for applicants to audition for a place in a pop band. Out of the thousands who applied, Lee Latchford-Evans, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer, Claire Richards and Ian "H" Watkins were successful in securing a place in the band.[1] "5,6,7,8" is a techno-pop song which was written by Barry Upton and Steve Crosby, and produced by Karl Twigg, Mark Topham and Pete Waterman, and lasts for a duration of three minutes, 22 seconds.[2][3][4] It was recorded at PWL Studios in Manchester, England, and mixed by Lee Sharma at the same venue. Upton also arranged the track and played the guitar, while the banjo, violin, drums and keyboards were played by Sean Lyon, Chris Haigh, Chris McDonnell and Twigg, respectively.[4]

Al Unsworth and Bradlee Spreadborough served as the assistant engineers and it was mastered at Transfermation Studios in London, England. "5,6,7,8" features all of the band members on lead vocals except for Ian "H" Watkins, who only performs background vocals.[4] Various versions of the song were included on the CD single in the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan, including an extended version, an instrumental and a remix by W.I.P.;[5] the CD single in the United Kingdom and Europe also included the B-side, "Words of Wisdom", which was also written by Upton and Crosby.[6][7] It was later included on their first greatest hits album, Gold: Greatest Hits (2001), the W.I.P. remix on their first compilation album The Last Dance (2002) and their third greatest hits album, The Ultimate Collection (2011).[8][9][10]


Critically, "5,6,7,8" garnered a negative review from Peter Robinson of NME. In his review of Steps' first greatest hits album, Gold: Greatest Hits (2001), he wrote "Steps were only signed for one single – with good reason, for '5,6,7,8' was shit of the very highest order."[11] Commercially, "5,6,7,8" debuted at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart on 16 November 1997,[12] and peaked at number 14 in its eighth week on 10 January 1998.[13] It spent a further nine weeks on the chart from January through to March, and re-entered the chart for one week at number 100 on 18 April 1997.[13] Altogether, "5,6,7,8" spent 18 non-consecutive weeks on the UK Singles Chart, 10 of which were in the top 20.[13] Their first top 40 hit, "5,6,7,8" was the only song of their following fourteen singles not to chart within the top 10.[14]

It is the third best-selling song of Steps' career in the United Kingdom, with sales of 365,000 copies, and is their most streamed track with 3,440,000 plays, according to a review of their biggest songs undertaken by the Official Charts Company in March 2017.[2] It was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry on 16 January 1998 for shipments of 200,000 copies, and certified gold 19 years later on 17 March 2017 for shipments and streams exceeding 400,000 copies.[15] Robert Copsey, author of the review, noted how "5,6,7,8" is distinctly different from the rest of their discography in terms of its techno-pop genre, line-dancing lyrics, lack of lead vocals solely from Claire Richards and that it is one of their lowest charting songs.[2] He added that it is very rare for a pop band to continue being given the opportunity to release more music following a top 20 debut.[2]


Set primarily on a beach, the accompanying music video for "5,6,7,8" opens with Latchford-Evans and Watkins riding quad bikes along the beach while Scott-Lee, Tozer and Richards driving a car on the road next to them, with close-ups of each of the female singers performing the chorus. It is followed by a repetition of the chorus whereby all of the members perform a dance routine to the music outside a bar on the beach. Latchford, with Watkins walking slightly behind him from the beach to the bar, performs the first verse where the chorus and dance routine is once again repeated. The second verse features clips of Latchford singing while playing a game of snooker while Watkins plays on the table football. For the final chorus, the group perform the dance routine for a final time, however the setting has changed to night time and inside a different bar. The official music video has achieved 13.6 million views on YouTube as of May 2017. "5,6,7,8" was included on Steps sixth concert tour, The Ultimate Tour, in 2012.[16]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Steps". Billboard. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Copsey, Rob (14 March 2017). "Steps' biggest selling singles revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Step One". iTunes Store. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d Step One (Liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, EBUL. 1998. 0519112. 
  5. ^ a b "Steps "5,6,7,8" (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Steps "5,6,7,8" (Song)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Steps "5,6,7,8" (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Gold: Greatest Hits (Liner notes). Steps. Zomba Records. 2001. 9201412. 
  9. ^ The Last Dance (Liner notes). Steps. Jive Records. 2002. 9201502. 
  10. ^ The Ultimate Collection (Liner notes). Steps. Sony. 2011. 
  11. ^ Robinson, Peter. "Steps : Gold-Greatest Hits". NME. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 16 November 1997 - 22 November 1997". Official Charts Company. 16 November 1997. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d "5,6,7,8 Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Myers, Justin (15 March 2014). "Official Charts Pop Gem #49: Steps – One For Sorrow". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 11 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "British single certifications – Steps – 5,6,7,8". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 March 2017.  Enter 5,6,7,8 in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  16. ^ "Review: Steps at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle". Chronicle Live. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "5,6,7,8" (Liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, EBUL. 1997. 0597502. 
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 1998". Australian Recording Industry Association. 1998. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 

External links[edit]