Songs from Beauty and the Beast - 1991 Alan Menken - Disney Children's OST Pic Disc 180 Grm LP

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Songs from Beauty and the Beast

Label: Walt Disney Records
Cat#: D002056501
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Picture Disc
Country: US
Released: 26 Aug 2014
Genre: Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Score, Musical


A1 Prologue
A2 Belle
A3 Belle (Reprise)
A4 Gaston
A5 Gaston (Reprise)

B1 Be Our Guest
B2 Something There
B3 The Mob Song
B4 Beauty And The Beast
B5 Beauty And The Beast (Duet)

Beauty and the Beast was the crowning achievement for the Menken and Ashman team, surpassing 1989's The Little Mermaid, and it would be their final collaboration, for Ashman died shortly after completing the lyrics. But the success of both film and the soundtrack album is proof of the timelessness and general appeal of Beauty and the Beast's songs.

Starting with Menken's darkly-tinged underscore for David Ogden Stiers' voiceover introduction in Prologue, the music starts casting its magical spell on the listener, then with deftness worthy of a David Copperfield or David Blaine, the marvelous opening number Belle introduces us to the beautiful protagonist and to the various inhabitants of the small French village where Belle, a young maiden who lives with her father Maurice, a widower who also likes to believe he's a great inventor. She's a typical Disney heroine -- a forward-thinking lass who yearns to venture in the great wide somewhere and be more than she is in her society -- but her voice is so lovely and the role so wonderfully written that the stereotypes are transcended.

The opening number also introduces us to the vain, handsome, yet slimy Gaston, the village heartthrob and super-macho hunter extraordinaire who is determined to make Belle his wife.
(His song, Gaston is not only revelatory about his personality quirks as a egotist without equal, but is a fine showcase for his wonderful baritone voice.)

In addition to the aforementioned tracks, Ashman and Menken's best songs -- if I had to choose just three -- are:

Be Our Guest, one of the big showstopper tunes and one of the best. A rousing Busby Berkeley-inspired number that gives new meaning to the term Dinner Theater

Something There, heard when the Beast and Belle realize that they are, despite their differences and circumstances, falling in love. It's a very appealing song simply because it's so universal; those of us who have had any experiences at relationships -- even the illusory Internet romances that seem to be in vogue as of late can easily relate to Something There's theme of realizing that, yes, I feel something surpringly and wonderful for someone else.

Beauty and the Beast, the film's best known single sums up the themes of the movie (love conquers even vast differences, love is timeless) in a wonderful and understated way.

With the exception of The Mob Song and a final choral rendition of Beauty and the Beast at the coda of Transformation, the balance of the movie's music is instrumental underscore for action scenes (The Beast Lets Belle Go ; Battle on the Tower ) as the film heads toward the resolution of the Belle-Beast-Gaston triangle.

More Information
Condition New
Format LP
Label Walt Disney Records