Every Little Step

Album: Don't Be Cruel (1988)
Charted: 6 3

Songfacts®:

  • Written by L.A. Reid and Babyface, this song is about falling for a girl in a big way. The song is a classic of the new jack era, complete with a rap (edited out in some versions), where Brown does some pretty ridiculous rhymes ("I'm rockin' it steady, and when I'm on the mic don't you dare call me Freddy"). In the late '80s and early '90s, Brown's style of rap was injected into the bridge of many pop songs, essentially replacing a guitar solo. As rap evolved, this style became outdated, but it helped bring together hip-hop and pop, especially since the rap could be removed on versions for the many radio stations that were not comfortable with the genre.
  • L.A. Reid says that his girlfriend at the time - the singer Pebbles - inspired some lyrics to this song. According to Reid, he was driving to see her when inspiration struck. He pulled over and quickly wrote the first few lines: "I can't sleep at night, I toss and turn, listening for the telephone..."

    Reid says he was crazy in love with the "Mercedes Boy" singer, and he married her in 1989. The couple got divorced in 1996.
  • The music video, directed by Alek Keshishian, was very distinctive, using a white background with people dancing in front of it, something that the Gap corporation would use in popular ads many years later. Brown sported his signature high-top fade haircut in the video, along with some fashion choices that seem very questionable today, but were '80s chic (OK, maybe not the red socks and suspenders).
  • Babyface says he first offered this song to the group Midnight Star, but they turned it down. Brown was next in line, as he and L.A. Reid were working on his second album, Don't Be Cruel.
  • Brown won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for his work on this song. It's his only Grammy win.

Comments: 2

  • Matt from Philly@Bob, That is such a false narrative. Bobby had his issues but people cling onto the media image of Whitney so tightly, ignoring who she was underneath. She was tainted by the hood and was a drug abuser well before she came into contact with Bobby. Bobby eventually decided to get clean and she did not. And Bobby was more than an ok talent, dude is a legend for sure. You can be mad at him but you can't discredit his talent and blame him for another drug addict not getting their self together.
  • Bob from Hallanedale, FlBobby brown was an ok talent but almost destroyed a great one- Whitney H. It amazes me that the music industry has overlooked his antics and obsessive drug-use that he used to poison the career of one of my favorite female entertainers. Shame on Him and shame on the music industry!
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