n March 6th 2017, Steps announced their comeback to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a brand new album ‘Tears on the Dancefloor’. This is the iconic band’s first album in five years and it is to be released on April 21st 2017. They also announced a nationwide tour named ‘Party on the Dancefloor.’ As well as this, on the following Friday, Steps released the first single from this album ‘Scared of the Dark,’instantly knocking Ed Sheeran off the Number One spot on the iTunes Singles Charts!
Four days after the legendary 90s pop band’s announcement that set the nation wild – including me – the tickets for their brand new 15 date tour went on sale. However, due to a phenomenal fan demand, five more dates were added as eight of their original 15 dates sold out entirely (including their Cardiff date which I am mega gutted about!) The band is set to go on tour on November 12th 2017 starting in Belfast, Northern Ireland and they are finishing the tour in Glasgow, Scotland on December 7th 2017.
Steps first formed in 1997 with band members H, Lisa, Claire, Faye And Lee. The band’s debut single was the famous ‘5, 6, 7, 8’ which was released November 17th 1997. This became a hit not just in the UK – spending over four months in the UK chart – but internationally as well reaching the Number One spot in the Australian singles chart in 1998. The band’s first UK top ten hit was their cover of Bananarama’s ‘Last Thing on My Mind’ released in 1998, shortly followed by their next single ‘One For Sorrow’ which peaked at number two in the UK. The last single that was realised from their debut album was ‘Better Best Forgotten’ which also peaked at number two in the UK. From the success of all their singles, their debut album ‘Step One’ followed suit and following its release on September 11th 1998, the album went to number two on the UK Albums Chart as well as reaching a Platinum Certification five times over.
In 1999, Steps’ second studio album ‘Steptacular’ was released on October 25th and sure enough, the success followed. The album went straight to the Number One spot on the UK Album Charts and remained there for three consecutive weeks. The album also received Platinum certification four times. This album also brought with it several singles that reached the UK top five also adding to the band’s success. These included ‘Love’s Got a Hold on My Heart’, ‘After the Love Had Gone’, ‘Say You’ll Be Mine’, ‘When I Say Goodbye’ and two of the most recognisable songs to this date, ‘Deeper Shade of Blue’ and ‘Tragedy’ which was another cover, this time from The Bee Gees which ended up being the band’s first Number One single.
The following year in 2000, Steps released yet another album called ‘Buzz’ on October 30th. However, the band’s success started to dwindle with this album as it peaked at number four in the UK Album Chart and only achieving Platinum certification twice compared to five times with their debut. However, the band achieved their second Number One single with ‘Stomp’ – a personal favourite of mine. The album also featured four other singles that reached the top five in the UK Charts including another famous cover of theirs ‘Better the Devil You Know’ – originally sung by Kylie Minogue. After this album, the band released a greatest hits album titled ‘Gold’ which featured a new cover as the promotional single for the album – ‘Chain Reaction’ originally sung by Diana Ross, which went on to be another one of the band’s most recognisable songs.
Boxing Day 2001 was a very sad day for Steps fans as the band announced their split, despite the band assuring fans that they weren’t planning on splitting up. The UK tabloids heavily criticised the band after fans got angry about their favourite band allegedly lying to them on their website at the time and accusing them capitalising on their success. It was later revealed that H and Claire both left the band on the last night of their ‘Gold: Greatest Hits Tour’ because they were unhappy being in the band.
Fast forward 10 years and the band reunited to a documentary for Sky Living that told the truth about their split and a possible future for a comeback. The following year the band announced a 14-date arena tour for 2012 called ‘The Ultimate Tour’ following the release of another greatest hits album titled ‘The Ultimate Collection.’ They also announced that they had reunited for good and not just for a tour. By the end of 2012, the band had recorded their forth studio album ‘Light Up the World’ and it was released in the November consisting of purely Christmas songs. This was followed by yet another tour known as ‘Christmas with Steps.’ The band then went on hiatus from 2013 to 2017 with each band member pursuing solo projects during that time.
Steps’ brand new single ‘Scared of the Dark’ brings back the 90s with a modern spin. In the first note of the song, you instantly know its Steps and takes you right back to the cheesy dance vibes of ‘Summer of Love’ and ‘Deeper Shade of Blue.’ However, as the song progresses, it feels more mature compared to the bands hit singles from two decades ago. Even though their classic Steps sound is in this song, it is certainly a modern take on the band and their style. The band has said that this single is the bridge from their old material to where their new album is going – and quite frankly, Steps fans and myself alike are super excited to hear what their comeback album will bring as well as where the band will go in the future after this.