Steppin' Out (Joe Jackson song)

"Steppin' Out" is a song written by Joe Jackson, originally included on his 1982 album Night and Day.[2] The song, inspired by Jackson's time in New York City, was his highest-charting single in America, where it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"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-inch)
  • "Chinatown" (U.S. 7-inch)
ReleasedAugust 1982 (US)
October 1982 (UK)
GenreElectropop,[1] Sophisti-pop
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


The song is about the anticipation and excitement of a drive out around the town.[3] Released as a single in early August 1982, it became Jackson's biggest hit in the United States, peaking at #5 in Cashbox magazine and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[2]

It also reached #4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and #7 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks.[4] The infectious tune was Jackson's second biggest hit on the UK Singles Chart, where it reached #6.[2] Only "It's Different for Girls", which reached #5 in the UK in 1980, did better.[5]

During his 2019 tour for the album Fool, Jackson stated he played all the instruments on "Steppin' Out",[citation needed] with the exception of a drummer, who did nothing but mimic the snare drum.[6] The rest of the drumming was done by a Korg KR 55 drum machine, the original of which Jackson used on the 2019 tour to play the song.[6]

Music videoEdit

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.[3]


"Steppin' Out" earned Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.[7]


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."[8]

In 2015, Pitchfork Media placed "Steppin' Out" at 153 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1980s."[9] Glide Magazine ranked it as Jackson's 2nd best song.[10]

Chart historyEdit


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (16 August 1982). "Joe Jackson: Night And Day". Rolling Stone (376). Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 485–486. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  3. ^ a b "Steppin' Out by Joe Jackson - Songfacts".
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 123.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ a b Joe Jackson-Steppin' Out (Live at the London Palladium 17/04/2019), retrieved 26 May 2020
  7. ^ "Biography by William Ruhlmann". Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  8. ^ Chris True. "Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Staff Lists: The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  10. ^ Handler, Shane. "Volume 26: Joe Jackson". Glide Magazine. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  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 4 December 2015. External link in |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Joe Jackson: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Joe Jackson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  15. ^ "Joe Jackson".
  16. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 12/18/82". Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 11 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1982". Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1983/Top 100 Songs of 1983".

External linksEdit