Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Peabo Bryson

Beauty and the Beast

First performed and recorded by Angela Lansbury (1991).
Hit version by Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson (US #9/MOR #3/CAN #2/UK #9/AUS #17 1991).

From the wiki: “‘Beauty and the Beast’ was written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for the Disney animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991). The film’s theme song, a Broadway-inspired ballad, was first recorded by British-American actress Angela Lansbury in her role as the voice of the character Mrs. Potts.

“Disney first solely recruited Canadian singer Celine Dion in 1991 to record a radio-friendly version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to promote the film and the film’s forthcoming soundtrack album. However, the studio was concerned that the then-newcomer would not be a strong enough marquee name on her own in the United States (up until then, Dion had had only two songs reach the Billboard Hot 100 and only one hit Top-10), so the more bankable Peabo Bryson (‘Tonight, I Celebrate My Love’, ‘If Ever You’re in My Arms Again’), with his far larger fan-base, was brought in to be a duet partner. (In the beginning Dion had been reluctant to record ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at all because she had just been replaced from recording ‘Dreams to Dreams’, the theme song of the animated film An American Tail: Fievel Goes West – a song that had first been offered to but was rejected by Linda Ronstadt, but which would ultimately be recorded by Ronstadt after she changed her mind.)

Whole New World (Alladin’s Theme)

First recorded by Brad Kane & Lea Salonga (1992).
Hit version by Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle (US #1/UK #12 1992).

https://youtu.be/UYCilZ8yMmU

From the wiki: “‘Whole New World (Alladin’s Theme)’ is from Disney’s 1992 animated feature film Aladdin, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The original version was sung for the film by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. They also performed the song in their characters at the 65th Academy Awards, where it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

“A single version of the song was released that year and was performed by American recording artists Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle. This version is played in the movie’s end credits and is referred on the soundtrack as ‘Aladdin’s Theme’. This version peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on March 6, 1993. The track peaked at #12 in the UK Singles Chart in 1992. The song is the first and so far only song from a Disney animated film to top the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as being the first and so far only Disney song to win a Grammy Award for Song of the Year, at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards.”

Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle, “Whole New World (Alladin’s Theme)” (1992):

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