Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle – A Whole New World

First Hit #1: March 6, 1993

This was the only Disney theme song to hit the top of the charts. That seems weird to me, since it’s hardly the best Disney theme song. It’s not even the best Disney theme song that features Peabo Bryson, that being Beauty and the Beast. It’s not a bad song per se, it’s a very nice duet that is slightly better in the film version, which is a bit less polished but with a reduction in the amount of bombast makes it more appealing – exactly like Beauty and the Beast. Disney’s 1990s love of doing their theme songs in two different versions was never their best attribute, the end credits version always felt like it was lacking something compared to the version sung by the characters you had developed an affection for over the past 90 minutes. Maybe it’s just that affection, we know Aladdin and Jasmine by the end of the film, but we don’t know Peabo Bryson. He’s probably a nice guy, but his version of the big Disney songs is never the version I prefer, and I think that affection for the characters is part of the reason.

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2 Responses to Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle – A Whole New World

  1. RBerman says:

    One wonders how Disney decides which B-list singers (cheaper that way) to use for covering its own songs. But looking at the charts for 1992, there’s no mystery why they went with lite-R&B singers instead of young actors Brad Kane (various TV stuff) and Lea Salonga (from Broadway), who sang it during the body of the film. It was clearly the sound of the moment.

    • BlueFox94 says:

      Of the Disney Renaissance film soundtracks, only the songs from The Little Mermaid and The Hunchback of Notre Dame were fully exempted from radio versions. Yet at least the sound of the moment has dated wonderfully while still connecting back to the films. I mean, did anyone care about Demi Lovato’s end credits pop version of “Let It Go”? Sure, Lovato’s version had some interesting additional lyrics, but it was the original, film body version by Idina Menzel that actually climbed to #5 on the Hot 100, after all.

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