The song has garnered a positive reception from critics, who praised its dual role as both a musical number and a commercial single. The song won several awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. As a single, it was a commercial success, peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming both Dion and Bryson's second top ten hit in the United States. Its success has been credited with establishing Dion's career as a singer.
The release of the song was accompanied by a music video, directed by Dominic Orlando. Dion and Bryson have performed the song several times live, including at the 64th Academy Awards in 1992 and the 35th Grammy Awards in 1993. It was included in Disney Sing Along Songs: Be Our Guest and Disney Princess Sing Along Songs: Once Upon a Dream. Both singers have included the song on some of their respective greatest hit and compilation albums. It has been covered numerous times by various performers. Both American pop group Jump5 and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks have recorded pop renditions of the song for the film's platinum and diamond edition re-releases respectively.
Background and recording
After ordering director Richard Purdum's attempt at adapting Beauty and the Beast into an animated feature film scrapped and restarted, Disney CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg ordered that the film be written in the style of a Broadway musical reminiscent of The Little Mermaid (1989), hiring lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken to write its songs. Ashman and Menken, who had just recently completed scoring The Little Mermaid, had already begun writing songs for their then-upcoming animated project Aladdin (1992). Ashman, who had been recently diagnosed with HIV, was initially reluctant to join the struggling production crew. However, he eventually agreed.
Angela Lansbury provided both the speaking and singing voices of the character Mrs. Potts in the film. She told The Huffington Post that Ashman and Menken had originally written the song in the style of a rock ballad. Although she enjoyed it, she felt incapable of recording it because of the unfamiliar style in which it was written. She questioned the songwriters' choice in her, asking them, "Are you sure you want me to do this?" She also felt as though her voice she was not in suitable condition to record "Beauty and the Beast", feeling insecure about having to sustain its several "long, extended notes". Ashman and Menken simply advised her "to sing it the way [she] envisioned it". Ultimately, she successfully recorded it in only one take.
Because the film garnered three separate Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song, producer Don Hahn expressed concern that this would result in a tie. In an attempt to persuade the audience to vote for the film's title song, Disney decided to release it as a single. Menken considered it a "turning point" in his career, explaining that it was the first time one of his compositions was re-arranged for such a purpose. "[Music producer] Walter Afanasieff...molded ["Beauty and the Beast"] into something very different than I ever intended," Menken reflected. "Walter made it his own". Because the studio could not afford a "big singer," they hired Céline Dion, who was virtually unknown in the United States at the time, to record a pop version of it. Fearing she would not draw much attention because of her relative obscurity, Disney hired Peabo Bryson, who was a more popular and successful artist at the time, to record the song alongside her in the form of a duet. Ultimately, it won Best Original Song. Its success is often accredited with introducing her to a worldwide audience and establishing her career as an international recording artist.
Lyrics and Composition
The song is a romantic pop ballad. Damon Smith of the Chichester Observer described the its melody as "haunting," while Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum referred to Lansbury's rendition as a "lullaby". Commonly identified as the film's theme song, its lyrics describe the relationship between the film's two main characters, Belle and the Beast, and specifically addresses how it has managed to transform them, allowing their friendship (and later, love) to grow. One reviewer writing for JoBlo.com wrote that the song serves its purpose in the film by "offering a sure sign of romance between" Belle and the Beast.
Tale as old as time True as it can be Barely even friends Then somebody bends Unexpectedly
Just a little change Small to say the least Both a little scared Neither one prepared Beauty and the Beast
Ever just the same Ever a surprise Ever as before Ever just as sure As the sun will rise
Tale as old as time Tune as old as song Bittersweet and strange Finding you can change Learning you were wrong
Certain as the sun Rising in the east Tale as old as time Song as old as rhyme Beauty and the Beast
Tale as old as time Song as old as rhyme Beauty and the Beast
The reprise of the song used in the finale begins from the fifth verse.
The reprise used in the 2017 remake contains an additional verse, sung between verses four and five, with new lyrics:
Winter turns to spring Famine turns to feast Nature points the way Nothing left to say Beauty and the Beast
These additional lyrics were written by Ashman for the original 1991 film but removed from the final version. They were added back for the 2017 film as a nod to Ashman.
During the film, the song is performed by Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, and is heard whilst Belle and the Beast dance in the castle ballroom. Another version is performed by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson at the end of the film. This was also the version released on a CD single and is also included on Dion's self-titled album (1992). A music video, directed by Dominic Orlando, was released in January 1992.
An arrangement of the song created by Yoko Shimomura plays during the finale of the episode at the Beast's Castle when the Beast and Belle are dancing on the courtyard of the castle.
The song was very successful on the charts around the world, becoming Dion's first international hit. The single reached number 9 in the U.S. (number 8 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales and number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay) and hit top 10 in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It was certified gold in the U.S. for selling over 500,000 copies, and platinum in Japan (100,000 copies sold). Thanks to its success, the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack was certified 3x platinum in the U.S., for selling over 3,000,000 copies.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Beauty and the Beast (Disney song). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.