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Alison Moyet - Weak in the Presence of Beauty (1986)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.73
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Weak in the Presence of Beauty" is a song written by Michael Ward and Rob Clarke, and originally recorded by their band, ...

"Weak in the Presence of Beauty" is a song written by Michael Ward and Rob Clarke, and originally recorded by their band, Floy Joy.

Alison Moyet version

In 1987, "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" was released by English singer Alison Moyet as the second single from her second studio album Raindancing. Her version became a hit in the UK and throughout Europe.


Following the release of her successful debut album Alf, Moyet decided to move to Los Angeles where she remained for almost a year. Once settled, Moyet's manager hired Jimmy Iovine to produce her second studio album. Aware of Floy Joy's "Weak in the Presence of Beauty", Moyet chose to record the song for the album. It was released as the second single from Raindancing in February 1987, and was also the second and final single from the album in the States, where it was released in August that year.

Moyet later revealed in 2004 that she only recorded the song as she knew it would be a hit single. Appearing on the This Morning show, Phillip Schofield asked Moyet why she disliked the song, to which she replied: "Oh, because I know how cynical I was being when I recorded it. I recorded it 'cause I knew it was a hit rather than the fact that I loved it, and that will teach me, you know? You have a massive hit with something you're not particularly fond of, and it's not a good feeling."

Later speaking to The Quietus in 2013, Moyet elaborated: "What I must say is that it's sometimes very easy to sit there and rescind responsibility, but sometimes I couldn't be arsed. That's the truth of it. We can all make the right choices, but sometimes we're just too lazy to. And sometimes I was just too lazy to do it myself. "Love Letters" and "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" – neither song I enjoy now – they're both my fault. I found them. That was when I was feeling smart, thinking that I knew what a hit was - I don't know what's a fucking hit! But they were hits, and now I'm forever to fucking sing them years later!" Speaking of both songs again in an interview with The Electricity Club, Moyet said: ""Love Letters" was me shooting myself in the foot! That was me being a show-off! That was me showing I had an A&R thing... "oh, I know what a hit is"! I did that twice, I did it with that and with "Weak in the Presence of Beauty"! Two times that I recorded songs knowing they were hits as opposed to the fact I loved them! I say that honestly, that's the only time I've ever recorded anything cynically!"

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