Steppin' Out (Joe Jackson song)

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"Steppin' Out"
Artwork for UK vinyl releases; other editions that use this artwork have various B-side tracks
Single by Joe Jackson
from the album Night and Day
  • "Another World" (UK 7")
  • "Chinatown" (U.S. 7")
ReleasedAugust 1982 (US)
October 1982 (UK)
Format7", 12"
GenreSynthpop, new wave
Length4:23 (album version)
3:43 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Joe Jackson
Producer(s)David Kershenbaum, Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson singles chronology
"Real Men"
"Steppin' Out"
"Breaking Us in Two"
Audio sample
Music video
"Steppin' Out" on YouTube

"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 #5 in Cash Box magazine and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]

It also reached #4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and #7 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks.[3] The infectious tune was Jackson's second biggest hit on the UK Singles Chart, where it reached #6.[1] Only "It's Different for Girls", which reached #5 in the UK in 1980, did better.[4]

During his 2019 tour for the album Fool, Jackson stated he played all the instruments on "Steppin' Out", with the exception of a drummer, who did nothing but mimic the snare drum. The rest of the drumming was done by a Korg KR55 drum machine, the original of which Jackson used on the 2019 tour to play the song.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, directed by Steve Barron, featured a blonde, attractive housekeeper pretending that 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. The video used the shorter single version instead of the full album version.[2]


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


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]

In 2015, Pitchfork Media placed "Steppin' Out" at 153 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1980s." [7]

The song was featured on the 2007 DJ-Kicks: Hot Chip album mixed by Hot Chip.


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,[8] Kurt Elling on his 2011 album The Gate,[9] and Fantastic Plastic Machine on his 1998 self-titled album. Hugh Masekela covered it on his album, Beatin' Aroun de Bush.

In the media[edit]

The song is featured in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, on the fictional in-game radio station Flash FM. The song is also featured in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V, in the fictional in-game radio station Los Santos Underground Radio.

Chart history[edit]


  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 - Songfacts".
  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. ^ Chris True. "Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Staff Lists: The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  8. ^ State of Nature, Album review, 17 Nov. 2008.
  9. ^ Kurt Elling: The Gate - review, Album review, 10 Mar. 2011.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Screen shot of search results for 'Joe Jackson', from". Fireball Media. Retrieved 4 December 2015. External link in |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Joe Jackson: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "Joe Jackson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Joe Jackson".
  15. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 12/18/82".
  16. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 11 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1982".
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1983/Top 100 Songs of 1983".

External links[edit]