“Flowers” was never intended to be a pop song, let alone a duet with legendary singers. Diamond first wrote it as the theme song to an ill-fated ’70s soap opera spoof. When the tune was no longer needed, he and his co-writers turned it into a pop song — which Diamond released in 1977 and Streisand covered in early 1978.
But if a DJ in Kentucky hadn’t created his own mashup of the two versions, splicing them together to create a “divorce present” for his wife, it probably never would’ve become such a hit. Word got out after the mashup was created, creating enough buzz that Streisand and Diamond recorded it as a proper duet in late 1978. The song spent a few weeks on top of the Hot 100 chart. Perhaps its message held special poignance for those caught in the throes of the ’70s divorce revolution.
Everything I love about the world is right here: the hair and the mock turtleneck (!) jumpsuit and the Jonathan Hart tuxedo and the rhinestones and the lipgloss and the soft focus and the schmaltz and the earnest, up-close face singing. Not to mention the circa-Solid Gold battery-pack hand mics, or how deeply invested the audience and I are in the long-term prospects of this fictitious relationship, and of course the stars. Oh my lord THE STARS.