Is She Really Going Out with Him?

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"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
Is She Really Going Out with Him? - Joe Jackson.jpg
Single by Joe Jackson
from the album Look Sharp!
B-side "You Got the Fever" (UK)
"(Do the) Instant Mash" (US)

September 1978

May 3, 1979 (reissue)
Recorded 1978
Genre Pop rock, new wave, power pop
Length 3:33
Label A&M - AMS 7392
Songwriter(s) Joe Jackson
Producer(s) David Kershenbaum
Joe Jackson singles chronology
"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
"Sunday Papers"
"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
"Sunday Papers"

"Is She Really Going Out with Him?" is the first single released by British musician Joe Jackson in September 1978.[1] The track, which was to achieve greater commercial success when reissued in 1979, was included on Jackson's debut album, Look Sharp!.


According to Joe Jackson, the song originated from when he heard the title. From there, he came up with the basis for the song lyrics of "pretty women" dating "gorillas." He said of the song's origins in an interview:

Now, that is just one of those songs that started with the title. I heard that phrase somewhere and I thought that could be a kind of funny song about gorgeous girls going out with monsters. It just started from there. It was just a funny song, or supposed to be funny. It was a great surprise to me when some people interpreted it as being angry.

— Joe Jackson, Songfacts, 2012[2]

Initially being released as a single in 1978, the song saw little chart success, failing to chart in both Britain and America. However, when the single was reissued in the summer of 1979 (catalogue number AMS 7459), the song saw greater success, reaching #13 in Britain and #21 in America.[1][3] It also appeared in the charts in Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.[4]

The UK B-side of the single, "You Got the Fever" was a non-album track that later appeared as a bonus track on later reissues of Look Sharp! In the U.S., however, "(Do the) Instant Mash," which also appeared on Look Sharp!, was issued as the B-side instead.

An alternate recording of the song was released as the B-side to Jackson's 1981 single, "Beat Crazy." The song was featured in the 1998 romantic comedy film, There's Something About Mary, The Simpsons episode "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh" and Live From Daryl's House episode No. 3 with the Plain White T's.

Live performances

Live versions appeared on Live 1980/86 (containing three versions of the song including an acoustic version and an a cappella doo-wop version)", on Two Rainy Nights in 2002, and on the bonus CD of Volume 4 in 2003.


Kid Courageous version

"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
Kid Courageous - Is She Really Going Out with Him?.jpg
Single by Kid Courageous
from the album Dear Diary
Released 4 April 2005[9]
Genre Pop punk[9]
Length 2:52
Label RockSugar Music
Songwriter(s) Joe Jackson
Producer(s) Rick Will
Kid Courageous singles chronology
"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
"Life's A Movie"
"Is She Really Going Out with Him?"
"Life's A Movie"

A cover of the song was the first single released by Australian pop punk band Kid Courageous, and charted #25 on the ARIA Singles Charts and #3 on the Australian Independent Charts.[10] This was the leading single from the band's debut album Dear Diary.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" (Radio) J Jackson 2:52
2. "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" (Acoustic) Jackson 2:51
3. "Farewell Letter" (Acoustic) M Anderson, H Griffiths, P Ricapito, L Saligne, D Simon 3:35
4. "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" (Video) Jackson 3:49
Total length: 13:07

Adapted from the liner notes:[11]

Chart history

Chart (2005) Peak position
Australian Albums (ARIA) 25[10]

Other cover versions

Alternative rock band Sugar Ray recorded a cover of the song for their fifth studio album In the Pursuit of Leisure.

Comedic A capella singing group Da Vinci's Notebook recorded a cover of the song for their album The Life and Times of Mike Manning.


  1. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 485–486. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ MacIntosh, Dan. "Joe Jackson interview". 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch Charts". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  5. ^ "Official Charts > Joe Jackson". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 151. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ "Screen shot of search results for 'Joe Jackson', from". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2015-12-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1970s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  9. ^ a b "Kid Courageous - Is She Really Going Out With Him?". Discogs. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. " - Australian charts portal". Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Is She Really Going Out with Him? (Liner notes). RockSugar Music. 2005. 

External links

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