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"
Genre New wave, synthpop
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, is Jackson's most famous song, becoming his highest charting single in America.


The song is about the anticipation and excitement of a night out on 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 fourth place on Billboard‍ '​s Adult Contemporary chart. 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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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', as a Christian proceeds to have 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 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."[6]


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,[7] Kurt Elling on his 2011 album The Gate,[8] and Fantastic Plastic Machine on his 1998 self-titled album.


Chart (1982) Peak
UK Singles Chart 6
Australia Singles Chart 30
Canada Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 28
New Zealand Singles Chart 21
Billboard Hot 100 6
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. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Biography by William Ruhlmann". Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  5. ^ "The Early Edition | Steppin' Out with Fred Lee - Mondays at 8:20 a.m". 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  6. ^ Chris True. "Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  7. ^ State of Nature, Album review, 17 Nov. 2008.
  8. ^ Kurt Elling: The Gate - review, Album review, 10 Mar. 2011.

External links[edit]