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CW from top-left: Claire, H, Faye, Lee and Lisa

"Steps are ABBA for the '90s."

One of the bands of The '90s (at least if you were British), Steps was a multi-chart topping pop band that lasted from 1997 to 2001, then reunited in 2011. The line-up from start to finish was Lisa Scott-Lee, Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Faye Tozer and Ian Watkins (who was known as "H", which stood for "hyperactive").

While their songs were good (and catchy as hell), their main draw was, as their name implies, that each single had a unique, simple dance to go with it. These dance steps were included with most of their single releases which meant their fans could easily learn the dance.

Steps' biggest hit was "Tragedy", a cover of the Bee Gees song, and the success of their version means that the song is largely Covered Up in Britain. They also often considered as the British version of ABBA for the '90s, as some of their songs have palpable influences from the Swedish group.

The band, their videos and their songs contains examples of:

  • Animated Music Video: Words Are Not Enough, though the band briefly appear at the beginning in live action at the beginning.
  • Beach Episode: The music video for 5,6,7,8.
  • Camp: And how!
  • Celebrity Resemblance:
  • Color Motif: The Deeper Shade of Blue music video shows the group dressed in blue costumes dancing in mainly blue background.
  • Concept Video
  • Costume Porn: The Deeper Shade of Blue music video has the group alternating in their Air Force-like costumes and their futuristic ones.
  • Cover Version: Tragedy (The Bee Gees), Chain Reaction (Diana Ross), Last Thing on My Mind (Bananarama), Make It Easy On Me (Sybil), and "Better the Devil You Know" (Kylie Minogue)—the last of which they also once mashed together with "Vogue" (Madonna) during a live performance.
    • They also once did a fairly epic version of Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr) for a Halloween night performance.
  • Dance of Romance: The climatic scene of the music video for It's the Way You Make Me Feel.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Of course.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Though Lee was often relegated to the background, as mentioned below, some tours featured songs where he was the sole performer ("Come On Get Together" on the Steptacular Tour and "Close to Me" on the Gold Tour). These songs where never released on any Steps albums, but are still available from their official youtube channel with the rest of their tour footage.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The music video for "When I Said Goodbye" was originally released in black and white. In 2022, a full color version was uploaded to the band's Youtube channel.
  • Fake American: Invoked in 5,6,7,8, as they constantly sing in a typical "wild western" accent.
  • Fanservice: Their music videos provide tons of these, usually thanks to the girls wearing revealing outfits, though sometimes H and Lee have their own shirtless scenes.
  • Fanservice Extra: Notably in the 5,6,7,8 and Last Thing on my Mind music videos.
  • Good-Looking Privates: The music video for Deeper Shade of Blue shows the group dressed in Air Force-like costumes.
  • Homage:
  • Hospital Hottie: The Chain Reaction music video where Claire and Faye have Naughty Nurse Outfits, while "Doctor" Lisa's plunging neckline predates Dr. Cuddy's outfits.
  • Keet: H—It does stand for Hyperactive, after all. He's often running round like a kid in music videos, and is usually the person to get thr crowd hyped during their classic performances. After their reunion he's generally mellowed out to match the other members' levels.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Lisa. Oddly, she's also the one who usually filling the Ms. Fanservice role in the music videos.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: While "almost" every single one of their songs have upbeat, danceable tunes, some of their singles have depressing themes like heartbreaks. The music video One for Sorrow has a disco version which serves as the best example.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: H's real name is Ian Watkins. So is the lead singer of Lostprophets, who was convicted of child pornography. Some news reports included a picture of H, and confused internet users attacked H.
  • The Movie Buff: Most of their music videos are Shout-Out to movies, after all.
  • The '90s: They're often cited as a hallmark of 90s music, at least in Britain. They paid homage to their peers of the era during a live mashup of "Better the Devil You Know" and "Vogue", listing musicians made famous in that decade.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: H. His real name is Ian Watkins. Also doubles as One-Letter Name.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Lee got the short end of the stick during the group's original run as after 5,6,7,8, he rarely sings in the succeeding singles. He is regarded to be the group's best dancer, however.
  • Plenty of Blondes: Claire, Faye and H (all blondes) versus Lee and Lisa (both are brunettes).
  • Pool Scene: The last part of the Last Thing On My Mind music video.
    • Rule of Pool: Lee stands at the edge of the pool to talk to some girls, Lisa walks past and pushes him in the water.
  • Sampling: Stomp derives its riffs and portion of the chorus from Everybody Dance. One For Sorrow also has some semblance of The Winner Takes It All.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Majority of Lee's outfits.
  • Softer and Slower Cover: Over a decade after "One For Sorrow" was released as a dance pop, Claire sang a somber ballad version of the song.
  • Split Personality:
    • Deeper Shade of Blue features the members having their good side in blue spandex, while their dark alter-egos are in futuristic alien costumes.
    • Summer of Love also has the "good" members in brightly colored clothes battling their "evil" personas clad in Goth style black leather.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Depending on the music video, but mostly averted. In 5,6,7,8 for instance, the group is seen dragging people to join in the dancing but teaches them to do it first. Played straight with Tragedy and Stomp though.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Tensions apparently arose within the group when Claire's powerful soprano voice overshadowed the others, the others are relegated as back-up singers.
  • Stealth Pun: Claire reenact Claire Danes' scenes from William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet for the Say You'll Be Mine music video... because her name is also "Claire".
  • Surreal Music Video: Quite a few of their music videos. A Deeper Shade of Blue and Heartbeat (which involves the other band members rescuing H when he gets kidnapped by midgets) do stand out as being especially weird, though.
    • "Words Are Not Enough" sees Claire got dragged into a magic mirror by a dark sorcerer and the rest of the band following after to save her, with everyone turning into a CGI-version of themselves and gaining superpowers.
  • Trauma Swing: Faye sits on a swing during the sad song One for Sorrow.
  • True Blue Femininity: Lisa wore predominantly blue outfits and has a blue skunk stripe during most of the music videos for the third album
  • Two Girls to a Team: Inverted, obviously.
  • Wedding Deadline: The music video for Tragedy. Lee and H wake up late to Claire, Faye, and Lisa's weddings and race to rescue them before they reach the altars.