Steal Away

Album: Robbie Dupree (1980)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • In the 1976 Bob Seger hit "Night Moves," he sings about a young love:

    We'd steal away every chance we could
    To the backroom, to the alley or the trusty woods


    Dupree's song is more of a proposition, as he is asking a girl to steal away into the night with him after he catches her sneaking a glance. No word on if she took him up on the offer.
  • The lyric doesn't have any special meaning to Dupree, who says it's not about anyone in particular. "It was a very simple rhyme song that was not anything meant to be heavy," he said in The Yacht Rock Book: The Oral History of the Soft, Smooth Sounds of the '70s and '80s. "It was a song where the words and the melody fit together, and they were cool. I thought it was nice."
  • Robbie Dupree didn't have a record deal when he recorded this song; he included it on a five-song demo that he shopped to record companies, but he found no takers. Short on cash, he took a job loading carpet on trucks. A few months later, he finally got an offer after the brother of the drummer on his demo played it for an executive at Elektra, who wasn't impressed with "Steal Away" but liked another song on the tape.

    "Steal Away" was the first single; it was a substantial hit, climbing to #6 in the US, but it had incredible staying power, getting constant airplay even generations later. Dupree's next single, "Hot Road Hearts," went to #15. Elektra dropped Dupree in the middle of recording his third album, as they felt his West Coast sound was outdated. "Like all lame corporate companies," he later commented to Rock United. "They chased the New Wave."
  • Robbie Dupree started singing on Brooklyn street corners in the early 1960s. He spent the early part of the 1970s playing with a number of bands, including The Striders, Small Fortune, and New World Rising, which also featured Nile Rodgers, who went on to form Chic and become one of the most successful producers of his time. Like many Yacht Rock stars, he got his big break after years of toil.
  • Dupree performs this song from time to time with the Yacht Rock Revue, which is exactly what you think: a yacht rock cover band. The group is a full-time job for the seven members, who have found a way to have fun with the act while showing a reverence for the music, which is why Dupree is comfortable sharing the stage with them.

    Yacht rock is sometimes passed off as weightless music from a bygone era, but decades after its heyday in the '70s and '80s, many listeners have come to appreciate the genre and understand how complex the musicianship is on these songs. To the ears of Nicholas Niespodziani of the Yacht Rock Revue, "Steal Away," is the best of the bunch. "This song has the best vibrations ever," he told Songfacts.
  • Dupree admitted to Ringside Report that he was uncomfortable filming the song's music video: "Remember we made that video before MTV and were part of the first wave of artists who were making videos," he said. "Nobody knew how to react to it. For example, you are lip synching which is ridiculous. The label at the time insisted on the ridiculous scripts they had like you are playing a gig there is a girl and the usual stuff. As videos got more efficient in the years to come, where they were doing multi-camera shots and were like mini movies artists got comfortable with the medium. It was uncharted territory for me and I never cared for it much."
  • Dupree wrote this song with Rick Chudacoff, who went on to do production work for Smokey Robinson, Patti LaBelle and Kenny G. "He had a house in West Hollywood, and we would go out there and sit around a little Wurlitzer piano," Dupree said of Chudacoff. "He would play me an idea, and I would sing a melody, and then just slowly cultivate words for it."
  • This song featured on the soundtrack of the 2009 Jim Carrey movie I Love You Phillip Morris. It also appeared in the 2010 movie MacGruber, and in the 2017 "Lantern" episode of Better Call Saul.

Comments: 4

  • Bruce from San Jose, Calif.Not sure if anyone else out there may have noticed, but this tune sounded like it had some Doobie Brothers riff influence....The iconic Doobie Bris tune ”What a Fool Believes” comes to mind as similar in tune to Steal Away....

    In fact I was half-expecting something written here that Michael MacDonald and The Doobie Brothers has some role in the Steal Away tune development....

    Or, perhaps just a coincidence then....anyway, I thought it worth mentioning...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 17th 1980, Robbie Dupree performed "Steal Away" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV network Saturday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at position #21 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eight weeks later it would peak at #6 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 23 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #85 on Billboard's Hot R&B singles chart...
    And as posted below, thirteen days after his 'Bandstand' appearance, on May 30th, he would perform the song on the NBC-TV late night program 'The Midnight Special'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 30th 1980, Robbie Dupree performed "Steal Away" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    One month earlier on April 6th, 1980 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #85; and exactly three months later on July 6th it peaked at #6 (for 2 weeks) and spent 23 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 7 of those 23 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    He had two other records make the Top 100; "Hot Rod Hearts" (at #15 in 1980) and "Brooklyn Girls" (reached #54 in 1981)...
    Mr. Dupree, born Robert Dupuis, will celebrate his 68th birthday this coming December 23rd, 2014.
  • Guy from New York, NyThe song's lyrics suggest a romantic mood because Dupree says that he and the woman should steal, which is wrong yet irresistible.
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