presence of beauty

As a recent convert to Twitter, it’s fascinating to see the interactions offered by ‘who to follow.’

Alison Moyet has been one of my options for the last few days.

So here’s a little story about her 1987 hit ‘Weak In The Presence Of Beauty.’

I was a big fan of British band Floy Joy, who had written and recorded the tune a year earlier.

Thinking someone, anyone, might be interested in an article about the origins of the song, I interviewed co-writer Michael Ward at his home in Sheffield.

Asked about it, he told me it was inspired by a chance encounter in the street with his ex-wife.

‘Weak In The Presence Of Beauty.’ Indeed.

I duly wrote up a short piece and touted it round various national newspapers, but zilch interest.

Soon afterwards, the song became a huge hit for Alison Moyet and helped her ‘Raindancing’ album become a big seller around the globe.

Floy Joy – Weak In The Presence Of Beauty

Alison Moyet – Weak In The Presence Of Beauty

Sadly, the record-buying public didn’t show the same interest in Floy Joy.

Which was a pity as they had great vocalists in Carroll ‘Lovers Rock’ Thompson and Desy Campbell, plus some really good songs.

After Floy Joy split, Michael Ward’s brother Shaun and Campbell were involved with ‘Everyday People,’ who also had their moments.

And after that, producer Stewart Levine recommended Shaun to Mick Hucknall for ‘Stars,’ and it’s his bass playing you can hear throughout Simply Red’s mega seller.

Everyday People – ‘Headline News’

Simply Red – Stars

2 Responses to “presence of beauty”

  1. Michael Somerset Ward says:

    I was the writer of this song. I wrote it after I ran into my ex wife Susan by chance. She said a quiet hello, but her sheer beauty and my sadness at losing her struck me dumb, so I walked by, although I did turn to watch her as she walked away.

    Years later, I had the happiness to be able to tell her I had written the song about her. ‘Weak in the Presence’ was a worldwide hit and established me as a successful writer to this day.

  2. Sue Miller says:

    A really beautiful and for me, thought provoking song. An all time best.

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