Step Back in Time
Step Back in Time
Single by Kylie Minogue
From the album Rhythm of Love
Released 22 October 1990 (1990-10-22)
Recorded 1990
  • CD single
  • cassette single
  • 7"
  • 12"
  • Dance-pop
  • disco
  • PWL
  • Mushroom
  • Mike Stock
  • Matt Aitken
  • Pete Waterman
Producer(s) Stock Aitken Waterman
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
Better the Devil You Know
Step Back in Time
What Do I Have to Do
Rhythm of Love track listing
"Better the Devil You Know"
"Step Back in Time"
"What Do I Have to Do"
Music Video
Kylie Minogue - Step Back in Time

Kylie Minogue - Step Back in Time

"Step Back in Time" is a song by Kylie Minogue, taken from her third studio album Rhythm of Love (1990). It was released as the second single from the album, although it was originally planned for "What Do I Have to Do" to be released henceforth. The song was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, who produced and wrote most of Kylie's songs at that time. Musically, the song is a disco inspired song.

The song didn't receive much attention on the singles chart, but manage to peak inside the top ten in the UK, peaking at number four, and number five in her native Australia. The song has been performed on many of Kylie's tours including her Intimate and Live Tour, KylieX2008 world tour and her 2014/15 Kiss Me Once Tour.


"Step Back in Time" was released in October 1990 as a second single prior to the release of Kylie's third album Rhythm of Love. Originally, the song "What Do I Have to Do" was going to be released as the second single from the album but the decision was changed to "Step Back in Time". This song marks the first time Kylie took her music into the genre of disco. In the song, Kylie gives her critique on modern music and wishes that life could be similar to the way it was in the 1970s ("Remembering the old days"/"Remember the O'Jays").

Chart performance

"Step Back in Time" had peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming a success in that country. In Australia, the song debuted at number eight, until rising and peaking at number five on the singles chart, staying there for a total of twelve weeks. The song then debuted at number forty-five in France, until rising and peaking at number forty-two for one week, and stayed on the charts for fifteen weeks in total.

The song debuted at number nineteen in Sweden, and fell to twenty, where it finished off. The song then debuted at number thirty-six on the New Zealand Singles Chart, until rising to number twenty-one, until it fell off. The song had moderate success in the Netherlands, where it debuted at number eighty-seven, and rose to number thirty-six for one week.

Music video

The music video for "Step Back in Time", features Kylie in a number of camp 1970s-style costumes with similarly attired dancers. As she herself describes "Step back in time was an important reference and homage to the 70's music". For Kylie and her team the whole Rhythm of Love was inspired by the style of the 1960s and 1970s, so they took inspiration from the "Studio 54" and the Hollywood actress from that period. Her hair, make up and costumes give her an inspiration and She wanted to paid tribute to these decades.

The video was filmed in Los Angeles - California and shows Kylie with a green feathery vest, black hot pants, and oversized sunglasses. In another scene Kylie is dressed in a Partridge family-esque outfit dancing. The video promotes the image of Minogue travelling around the city with her friends dressed in 1970s influenced attire and partying.

There is also an alternate video of Kylie with a young hairstyle and wearing animal print bikini under a sheer top and leather hot pants over leggings in a white background dancing with only two men who are at times duplicated into two more men.


Kylie's initial successes in various worldwide markets, particularly in Europe were not sustained by 1990 but she remained consistently popular in Australia and even more so in her production base, the UK.

In the United Kingdom, "Step Back in Time" marked the beginning of a popular backlash against her new "raunchy" image amongst her initial demographic of young teenagers. In the 1990 poll by Smash Hits, a popular teen music magazine which avidly supported the star, Kylie won several "worst" awards for such crimes ranging from her fashion sense to her recent musical output. Although her music, still produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman, was not radically removed from her previous output, her recent change of image was to lose her more popular support than she was to gain due to a more dance-pop orientation.

"Step Back in Time" was featured in The World's End, a 2013 British science fiction comedy directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. The song was featured in the movie as the characters enter the school-disco scene. The song was included on the soundtrack as a deluxe version bonus track. In an interview about the music in in the movie, Wright said, "it ultimately had to be "Step Back In Time", because that’s precisely what [the lead character] is trying to do.” He said, "It’s got great lyrics and the breakdown during the school-disco scene is one of my favourite bits of music in the movie."

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Step Back in Time".

7" single (PWL)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

12" single (PWL)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (Walkin' Rhythm Mix) – 8:05
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Extended Instrumental) – 4:59

Cassette single (PWL)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03)
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

CD single (PWL)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Walkin' Rhythm Mix) – 8:05
  3. "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

Australian CD single (MUSHROOM)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Walkin' Rhythm Mix) – 8:05
  3. "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

Australian 7" (MUSHROOM)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

Australian 12" (MUSHROOM)

  1. "Step Back in Time" (Walkin' Rhythm Mix) – 8:05
  2. "Step Back in Time" (Edit) – 3:03
  3. "Step Back in Time" (Extended Instrumental) – 4:59

Australian cassette 1 single (MUSHROOM) "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03 "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

Australian cassette 2 single (MUSHROOM) "Step Back in Time" (Walkin' Rhythm Mix) – 8:05 "Step Back in Time" (edit) – 3:03 "Step Back in Time" (Instrumental) – 3:30

Live Performances

"Step Back in Time" has appeared on most of Kylie's tours, the first two being the Rhythm of Love Tour and the Let's Get to It Tour, where it opened both shows. It then appeared on the set list for Kylie's Intimate and Live Tour in 1998 following a performance of "Cowboy Style". It was then included in Kylie's appearance on "An Audience With... Kylie Minogue" as part of a hits medley. It was then featured in the On a Night Like This Tour where it was, again, part of a hits medley. In the Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour and the Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour, extracts were included in each medley. The song was performed on the KylieX2008 Tour in the Black Versus White act, preceding a performance of "In My Arms". The song was included in the Kiss Me Once Tour, opening the second section and preceding a performance of "Spinning Around". This version was also included in the Kylie Summer 2015 mini-tour along with other various performances in 2016. The song was performed as part of a medley with "Shocked" during Kylie's 2019 Summer shows.


Chart (1990) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 5
Dutch Top 40 36
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 12
Finnish Singles Chart 4
French SNEP Singles Chart 23
[[Media Control Charts|German Singles Chart 36
Irish Singles Chart 4
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 21
South African Singles Chart 6
Swedish Singles Chart 19
Swiss Singles Chart 29
UK Singles Chart 4

End of year

Year Chart Position
1990 Australian Singles Chart 91
UK Singles Chart 86
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