He's Gonna Step on You Again

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"He's Gonna Step On You Again"
John Kongos - He's Gonna Step on You Again.jpg
Single by John Kongos
from the album Kongos
B-side "Sometimes It's Not Enough"
Released 1971
Format 7" 45rpm
Length 4:24
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
John Kongos singles chronology
"He's Gonna Step On You Again"
"Tokoloshe Man"

"He's Gonna Step On You Again" (a.k.a. "Step On") is a song co-written by Christos Demetriou and performed by John Kongos in 1971.

It was cited in the Guinness Book of Records as being the first song to have used a sample,[1] however, according to the sleeve note of the CD reissue of the Kongos album, it is actually a tape loop of African drumming,[1] and the use of tape loops and instruments using prerecorded samples such as the Mellotron and Optigan were well established by this time.

The song, released by Fly Records, entered the UK Singles Chart on 22 May 1971 and spent 14 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 4. The band's song "Tokoloshe Man" also peaked at No. 4 later that year.[2]

The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 2006 video game Test Drive Unlimited.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1971) Peak
Australia (Go-Set National Top 40)[4] 2
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 77
France (IFOP)[6] 9
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 26
Italy (FIMI)[8] 51
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 27
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 22
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[11] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 70

Cover versions[edit]

"He's Gonna Step On You Again"
Single by The Party Boys
from the album The Party Boys
B-side "Small Talk"
Released 1987
Format 7" 45rpm
Length 4:08
Label CBS
The Party Boys singles chronology
"He's Gonna Step On You Again"
"Hold Your Head Up"

1987 Australian versions[edit]

In 1987 three Australian bands The Party Boys, Chantoozies and Exploding White Mice each released their own cover version of "He's Gonna Step On You Again". The Party Boys' single was issued in June, which peaked at No. 1, for two weeks, in late July on the Australian Music Report chart while the Chantoozies version reached No. 36.[14]

The Party Boys[edit]

The Party Boys were an Australian rock band with a floating membership that mostly performed cover versions and existed from 1982 until 1992.[15] By 1987, the members were Kevin Borich on guitar and backing vocals, John Brewster on guitar and backing vocals, Paul Christie on drums and backing vocals, Richard Harvey on drums, Alan Lancaster on bass guitar and backing vocals, and John Swan on lead vocals.[15] Their version also reached No. 10 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.[16] The Party Boys also recorded a 12" single, "He's Gonna Step On You Again (Stomp Mix)" with Nick Mainsbridge remixing, which was backed by "She's a Mystery".

Chart (1987) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[17] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[16] 10


Chantoozies were a pop group active from 1986 to 1991. The band featured four female singers: Eve von Bibra, Angie La Bozzetta, Ally Fowler and Tottie Goldsmith; and four male musicians: Brett Goldsmith on bass guitar, keyboards and programming, Scott Griffiths on keyboards and programming, Frank McKoy on lead vocals and guitar, and David Reyne on drums and backing vocals.[18]

Chart (1987) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[14] 36

Exploding White Mice[edit]

Exploding White Mice were a pop punk band from 1983 and by 1987 had a line-up of Paul Gilchrist on vocals, Andy MacQueen on bass guitar, David Bunney on drums, Giles Barrow on rhythm guitar and Jeff Stephens on guitar.[19][20] Exploding White Mice issued their version as the B-side of their "Blaze of Glory" single on Adelaide's Greasy Pop Records.[21]

Happy Mondays version[edit]

"Step On"
Happy Mondays - Step On.jpg
Single by Happy Mondays
from the album Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
A-side "Step On" (Stuff It In Mix Edit)
B-side "Step On" (One Louder Mix Edit)
Released 1990
Format 7" 45rpm
Genre Madchester[22]
  • 4:20 (7" single edit)
  • 5:19 (album version used in most compilation albums)
Label Factory FAC 272/7
Happy Mondays singles chronology
"WFL (Wrote for Luck)
"Step On"
"Kinky Afro"

Happy Mondays covered the song, retitling it "Step On" in 1990, with two different music videos. It was originally intended as a contribution to the Rubáiyát: Elektra's 40th Anniversary compilation for their US label Elektra, but they decided to keep it to release as a single, and instead covered Kongos's "Tokoloshe Man" for the compilation. The Happy Mondays version incorporates a short sample of three guitar notes from the original.[23]

It became their biggest-selling single, peaking at No. 5 in the UK and even making it on to the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 57.

Chart (1990–1991) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[24] 157
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[25] 64
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[26] 46
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 5
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 57
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[28] 13
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[28] 46
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[28] 9

Other versions[edit]

Other artists have recorded cover versions of this song, including Def Leppard (on their 2006 cover album Yeah!). Although probably never recorded, the song was also a staple of Canada's MacLean & MacLean live act where its percussion rhythms and topical lyric made it popular with their audiences.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "John Kongos "Kongos" Liner Notes". Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 306. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Test Drive Unlimited – Credits at the Wayback Machine (archived 12 December 2014). AllGame. All Media Network.
  4. ^ "Go-Set Australian Charts – 16 October 1971". Go-Set. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5322." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Le Détail par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "John Kongos" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – John Kongos – He's Gonna Step On You Again". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Indice per Interprete: K" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – John Kongos - He's Gonna Step On You Again search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – John Kongos – He's Gonna Step On You Again" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  11. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (K)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Archive Chart: 1971-07-03" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  13. ^ "John Kongos – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  15. ^ a b McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'The Party Boys'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. 
  16. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – The Party Boys – He's Gonna Step On You Again". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Australia No. 1 hits -- 1980's". World Charts. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  18. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'The Chantoozies'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. 
  19. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Exploding White Mice'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. 
  20. ^ Gardner, Steve (Winter 1993). "Exploding White Mice". Noise for Heroes (22). Divine Rites Records (Didier Georgieff). 
  21. ^ "Blaze of glory / Jeff Stephens ; [performed by] the Exploding White Mice. He's gonna step on you again /Kongos - Demetriou ; [performed by] the Exploding White Mice [sound recording]". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  22. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2013). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-5712-8914-1. 
  23. ^ Berry, Mark "Bez" (1998). Freaky Dancin' (1st ed.). London: Pan. p. 285. ISBN 0-330-37054-5. 
  24. ^ "Fw: ARIA chart peaks". Imgur. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  25. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1552." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Happy Mondays – Step On" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  27. ^ "Archive Chart: 1990-04-14" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  28. ^ a b c d "Happy Mondays – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 July 2013.