Background and release
In 2011, Steps reunited for a four-part documentary series, which aired on Sky Living. Documenting their highly publicised and acrimonious split on Boxing Day in 2001, it revealed what each member had been doing for the previous ten years, as well as reflecting on their time in the group and the truth, causes and effects of their disbandment. It further showed how they could repair their professional, and personal, relationships as a five-piece for the release of their second greatest hits album, The Ultimate Collection (2011), and discussions of officially reforming. The positive response to the album led to the announcement of a reunion arena tour, The Ultimate Tour, in April 2012, and their fourth studio/first Christmas album, Light Up the World, later that year. On 28 November 2016, it was revealed that Steps would be performing at G-A-Y on New Year's Eve to celebrate twenty years since their debut.
On 6 March 2017, Steps confirmed that their fifth studio album, Tears on the Dancefloor, would be released on 21 April in the United Kingdom and be preceded by the lead single, "Scared of the Dark", on 10 March; they also announced the Party on the Dancefloor Tour, which will take place in November and December 2017. In an interview for the Official Charts Company in March 2017, band member Faye Tozer confirmed The Alias as the producer for Tears on the Dancefloor, while Lisa Scott-Lee revealed that planning the album had taken two years in an interview for Popjustice. It is their first album to be composed of mostly original material in seventeen years; Light Up the World was composed of both cover and original songs, and was their first studio album in twelve years.
Recording for the album began in October 2016; Tozer revealed that the first two songs they recorded were omitted from the final track listing due to not sounding "Steps-enough". Scott-Lee revealed that the group had recorded two albums' worth of material during the production of Tears on the Dancefloor, but said that no formal discussions have taken place as to whether or not a sixth studio album will follow in 2018 despite reaffirming her personal desire to do so. Three editions of Tears on the Dancefloor were made available to purchase on their website: a digital version available for download, a limited edition signed CD and a limited edition neon-blue vinyl. The album artwork was inspired by the album cover of their debut album, Step One (1998). On 18 September 2017, Steps announced that the album would be reissued on 27 October with five new songs, three of which have accompanying remixes, titled Tears on the Dancefloor: Crying at the Disco.