Fern Kinney began her career in the 1960s in the girl group The Poppies, but it wasn’t until 1979 that she first tasted success with her disco version of King Floyd’s ‘Groove Me’. ‘Together We Are Beautiful’, a UK number 1 for Kinney in 1980 proved to be her biggest hit, and it is the song she is most associated with.
Coming on like Diana Ross post ‘Love Hangover’, Kinney purrs and croons her way through this synthesis of disco, strings and summer of love lyrics. It’s easy to dismiss the song as being out of its time: It was kicked off the number one spot by the Jam after all.
But it’s the lyrics that are intriguing…
“I’ve gone with better looking guys, he’s gone with prettier looking girls. But now we’re beautiful, I think we’re beautiful. I don’t need love affairs anymore.”
Compared to the innumerable songs that make up the catalogue of pop over the past fifty years that have involved one or more partner seeking absolute perfection in their other half, such lyrical pragmatism is oddly refreshing, not to mention actually quite sweet. It isn’t desperation on the protagonists part either because the lyrics also make it clear that she, as well as he, has had other partners to compare the new one to. This is the sound of someone taking their time, without anguish and tears, and reaching a happy equilibrium. Such things are love songs rarely made of…
Image is of Fern Kinney’s Groove Me album sleeve. It is a head and shoulders shot of Kinney, and she is shown looking away from the camera.
Video commentary: Video is sound only. There is a clip on YouTube of Kinney performing ‘Together We Are Beautiful’ on Top Of The Pops but I haven’t used it because the beginning is missing. If you’d like to see it, please click here