Steppin' Out (Joe Jackson song)

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"Steppin' Out"
Single by Joe Jackson
from the album Night and Day
B-side "Another World" (UK 7")
"Chinatown" (U.S. 7")
Released August, 1982 (U.S.)
October 1982 (UK)
Format 7", 12"
Length 4:23 (album version)
3:43 (single version)
Label A&M
Writer(s) Joe Jackson
Producer(s) David Kershenbaum, Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson singles chronology
"Real Men"
"Steppin' Out"
"Breaking Us in Two"
Music sample

"Steppin' Out" is a song written by Joe Jackson, originally included on his 1982 album Night and Day.[1] The song, inspired by Jackson's time in New York City, was his highest charting single in America.


The song is about the anticipation and excitement of a drive out around the town.[2] Released as a single in early August 1982, it became Jackson's biggest hit in the United States, peaking at #4 in Cash Box and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1] It also reached #4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.[3] The infectious tune was Jackson's second biggest hit on the UK Singles Chart, also reaching number six.[1] Only "It's Different for Girls", which reached #5 in the UK in 1980, did better.[4] The music video for the song, directed by Steve Barron, featured a housekeeper pretending she was a Cinderella figure. It was filmed over one night in the St. Regis Hotel in New York City during the summer of 1982.[2]

"Steppin' Out" eventually earned Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.[5]

Other appearances[edit]

In 2002, "Steppin' Out" appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, playing on pop radio station Flash FM.

A loop of the instrumental portion of this song is used as the theme music for the WYES-TV (New Orleans, Louisiana) weekly arts and entertainment program Steppin' Out. CBC Radio Vancouver uses the same loop to introduce entertainment reporter Fred Lee.[6]

The song was used frequently as commercial outro/intro music on WGN America's The Bozo Show.

The song is heard as background music in the 2009 film L'affaire Farewell. It is used in a scene set in 1981, which predated the actual release of the song.

The song is also heard in the Nip/Tuck episode, 'Ricky Wells', playing loudly as a Christian has sex with a woman.

A snippet from the song appears at the end of a 2011 Target television commercial for Pedigree dog food.

In a 1987 episode of the sitcom Who's the Boss?, the characters Tony and Angela dance to the song.


In a retrospective review of the single, Allmusic journalist Chris True praised the song as a "mélange of simple piano hooks, rudimentary electronic treatment and classic vocal pop, with a rhythm track that is quaint in its simplicity and driving enough to invoke images of the big city at night."[7]

In 2015, Pitchfork Media placed "Steppin' Out" at 153 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1980s." [8]


The song was most recently covered by AM & Shawn Lee on their 2013 album La Musique Numérique. It was also covered by Stanley Jordan on his 2008 album State of Nature,[9] Kurt Elling on his 2011 album The Gate,[10] and Fantastic Plastic Machine on his 1998 self-titled album.


Chart (1982/83) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[11] 30
Canada Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 28
Irish Singles Chart[12] 5
New Zealand Singles Chart 21
UK Singles Chart[13] 6
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Mainstream Rock Chart 7


  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 485–486. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ a b "Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson at
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 123. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ "Biography by William Ruhlmann". Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Early Edition | Steppin' Out with Fred Lee - Mondays at 8:20 a.m". 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  7. ^ Chris True. "Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  8. ^ "Staff Lists: The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  9. ^ State of Nature, Album review, 17 Nov. 2008.
  10. ^ Kurt Elling: The Gate - review, Album review, 10 Mar. 2011.
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 151. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  12. ^ "Screen shot of search results for 'Joe Jackson', from". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2015-12-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Official Charts > Joe Jackson". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 

External links[edit]