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Life At The Top

STEPS appear at the Teen Choice Awards in America STEPS returned to America

December 1999 saw STEPS battle for the UK Christmas number one. STEPS reached number five with their double-A single 'Say You'll Be Mine / Better The Devil You Know', although the single later rose to the higher position of number four.

The start of the year 2000 saw STEPS return to the United States to promote their new album and single. Gaining worldwide success became a priority for the group, as they travelled around the world to South Africa, Australia and Asia to promote the 'Steptacular' album.

In February 2000, STEPS released 'Tragedy' in the United States, and The Disney Channel broadcast the STEPS concert to promote the American releases. Fans also saw the premiere of the new STEPS video for the next single, 'Deeper Shade Of Blue'. The video caused some unrest amongst STEPS fans, since it was so different from their previous videos and presented a more mature look for the group.

In April 2000, STEPS released 'Deeper Shade Of Blue', and in May the group embarked on another huge UK Arena Tour. This was followed with a new single, 'When I Said Goodbye / Summer Of Love'. The video for 'When I Said Goodbye' caused controversy on the STEPS message board - since it featured many shots of Faye sitting by a fountain, some fans assumed this meant she was leaving the group. 'Summer Of Love' gave fans an exciting first glimpse of the forthcoming new album.

A promotional poster for the Buzz album Buzz revealed a more
 mature look and sound

The 30th October 2000 saw the release of STEPS' third studio album, 'Buzz', which took Steps in a new direction as they worked with some of the most popular American and Swedish pop production teams. 'Stomp' was released to promote the album and hit the UK #1 spot, giving Steps their 2nd UK #1 single.

Buzz was a huge hit with the fans, although the album received a mixed response from the media, mainly due to the sudden change in 'musical direction'. The British pop cheese of their previous albums had been replaced with more professional sounding pop sounds, with contributions from American and Swedish producers. It appeared to be an obvious attempt by Jive Records to try and launch STEPS in America once again.

STEPS hit the road again for their 2000 Christmas Tour, and followed up the success of 'Stomp' with the Swedish produced 'Its The Way You Make Me Feel', which was released on the 1st January 2001. With a lavish video the single was set to be a huge hit, but some stores accidentally sold copies of the single a week early. Eager fans saw this and snapped up copies ahead of the release date, causing the single to enter the charts at #73! When the single was officially released a week later it reached #2.

STEPS then took a long break from the UK music scene as they again attempted to spread their sound around the world. Appearences were made on global TV, including performances in Asia, Europe and the US. The more "global" sounding album helped them become successful in places where they had previously been unheard of! STEPS recorded a programmes in America for 'TeenNick', performing album tracks such as 'Buzzz' which had never been performed live before. However, these songs were cut from the TV show, much to the dismay of many fans.

A promotional poster for the 'Here and Now / You'll Be Sorry' single STEPS continued to top the charts

STEPS returned to the UK after five months away with a new single. A poll on their website allowed fanclub members to vote for which Buzz track they wanted STEPS to release next. Although Lisa's "Never Get Over You" topped the poll, STEPS' management opted to release 'Here and Now / You'll Be Sorry' instead. The media loved 'Here and Now' - another song from Sweden. Unlike the mellow 'It's The Way You Make Me Feel', this number was more in line with the popular 'Backstreet Boys' or 'Britney Spears' sound.

Two videos were recorded - one for each song - but the original video for 'You'll Be Sorry' which featured STEPS' fans dancing with STEPS in a nightclub was never finished. Instead, a new video was made for 'You'll Be Sorry', which showed STEPS dancing against a starry backdrop. The single stormed radio stations and music channels, and the video was constantly requested on music station 'The Box'.

News then appeared that STEPS' next release would be a Greatest Hits package, and rumours circulated that the group was going to split up after the release of the album and their 'Greastest Hits' tour. STEPS denied this in every interview that they gave.

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