Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

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"Beauty Is Only Skin Deep"
Single by The Temptations
from the album Greatest Hits
B-side"You're Not an Ordinary Girl"
ReleasedAugust 4, 1966
RecordedHitsville USA (Studio A);
April 14, 1964 and May 11, 1966
G 7055
Songwriter(s)Norman Whitfield
Edward Holland, Jr.
Producer(s)Norman Whitfield
The Temptations singles chronology
"Ain't Too Proud to Beg"
"Beauty Is Only Skin Deep"
"(I Know) I'm Losing You"

"Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" is a 1966 song, written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland, Jr., and produced by Whitfield. Norman Whitfield recorded the song's instrumental track. Two years later, Whitfield got together with Eddie Holland to have lyrics written for the song.

Several artists recorded "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" before the Temptations, including David Ruffin's older brother Jimmy Ruffin, and The Miracles, who were actually the first to record it in 1964, but their version was not released as a single. It was later included on their 1966 Away We a Go-Go album.[1]

The Temptations recording[edit]

The song was a 1966 hit single when it was recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. Billboard described the single as a "smooth rocker featuring bongo and brass and a well-done vocal on a strong lyric."[2] The song was a number three pop hit and a number one R&B hit in the United States.[3] Outside the US, it was also a hit in the United Kingdom, making it to #18 on the UK Singles Chart in late 1966. The song never appeared on a regular Temptations studio LP, but was featured on the group's 1966 first Greatest Hits album.

It was chosen as a single by Billie Jean Brown, head of Motown's quality control department. The group appealed the decision to Motown head Berry Gordy, who preferred it to the group's choice.[4] The record proved much more successful than the group members expected.[5][3][6]

Cash Box said that it is a "mid-tempo, finger-snapping swinger done up in the group’s infectious manner."[7]


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[8] 18
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles 1


  1. ^ "Tempts Go More Than Skin Deep - uDiscover". 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  2. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. August 13, 1966. p. 16. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 571.
  4. ^ White, Adam; Fred Bronson (1993). The Billboard Book Of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits. New York: Billboard Books. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-8230-8285-7.
  5. ^ The Temptations - 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961-1971 [CD liner notes]. New York: Hip-O Select/Motown/Universal Records
  6. ^ The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 6: 1966 [CD liner notes]. New York: Hip-O Select/Motown/Universal Records
  7. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. August 13, 1966. p. 24. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved July 10, 2022.

External links[edit]