Credited to Lennon-McCartney, the song was written especially for Black’s first BBC TV series, Cilla, which first aired on 30 January 1968. Released as a single, her version peaked in the UK charts at number nine on 10 April 1968.
McCartney recorded a simple demo of the song in 1967, at his home in Cavendish Avenue, London, featuring vocals and acoustic guitar.
I ended up writing a few songs for Cilla, actually. ‘Step Inside Love’ was a later one. Cilla Black was getting her first TV show with a guy called Michael Hurll and they came to see me backstage somewhere and asked me, would I write the theme tune for it, so I said yes. I did a little demo of it, with myself double-tracked, up at Cavendish, and that was it. I quite like the song, it’s very cabaret, it suited her voice. It was just a welcoming song for Cilla.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
McCartney’s demo arrangement was adapted and used for the programme’s earliest episodes, but was later extended to three verses.
All he had given us was one verse and a chorus with him playing on guitar. We played it that way for the first couple of weeks and then decided that we needed a second verse. Paul came over to the BBC Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush and sat with me and Cilla and worked on a second verse. It started off with the line, ‘You look tired, love’, because Cilla was tired after a lot of rehearsing and most of what he wrote related to what was going on that day.
A Hard Day’s Write, Steve Turner
In the studio
During a 16 September 1968 session for the White Album, in which Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr recorded ‘I Will’, McCartney led the group through a spontaneous run-through of ‘Step Inside Love’.
Together with the improvised ‘Los Paranoias’, ‘Step Inside Love’ was included on Anthology 3 in 1996. The session recording was longer than the released edit, however; the Anthology version was faded early at 2’31”, having originally lasted for more than six minutes.
The same edit was released again in 2018 on the White Album 50th anniversary box set