Versions: Beauty and the Beast

In this week’s version of Who Sang It Better?, we pit Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion against John Legend and Ariana Grande for their renditions of the classic “Beauty and the Beast”.

What do the charts and critics say?

Both pairs are working on an Oscar and Grammy winning composition. The track ushered in the golden age of Disney pop music, having Circle of Life, Colors of the Wind, Reflection follow in its footsteps.

However, the love was not spread to both. The Dion-Bryson combination turned to a top 10 hit in the US, UK and Canada, while the Grande-Legend pairing barely cracked the top 100 on all. The former also notched a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and got nominated for Record of the Year. Even without nominations for 2018, the latter stands little chance to notch anything, even a VMA.

What do we say?

I have yet to hear a single human soul say that he/she prefers the revival of Grande and Legend. I guess that is the tragedy of covering a well-loved and well-remembered movie theme. They wanted to stay faithful to the original but ended up sounding uninspired and bland.

Who could’ve held their own or even beat the powerhouse? Probably no one. I begin to wonder if a revival was necessary. But the movie transitioning to live version would have been incomplete without its title track making the soundtrack.

The silver lining is the creation of Evermore, a new track sung by Josh Groban penned for the revival. The new movie can make more money but the soundtrack will definitely pale in comparison.

Verdict

By a mile, Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson won this battle!

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