Have you ever tried to pick and stick to one favorite Disney song? It's an impossible task, with lots of backtracking, hand-wringing, and maybe even a few tears. Putting Disney songs in order of quality only gets a little easier when you're restricted to one film. Since the 2017 live-action remake of Beauty & The Beast debuts in theaters on March 17 and its soundtrack is already out, I thought I'd give it a go. How do these tracks stack up against one another? Keep reading for a ranking of the Beauty & The Beast soundtrack songs.
The soundtrack that Disney released for the Emma Watson and Dan Stevens movie is a "deluxe" edition, including the entire instrumental score by composer Alan Menken and demo versions of new songs written to flesh out the musical. For the purposes of this ranking, I only included the vocal tracks from the movie sung by Watson, Stevens, Emma Thompson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, and the rest of the cast; the pop contributions of Ariana Grande, John Legend, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban; plus Menken's "Overture." Because, come on: this was hard enough!
How's Dion's follow-up to her stunning 1991 version of the title track? How does "Be Our Guest" compare to "Belle"? Does Josh Gad earn the right to sing about the wonders of "Gaston"? The countdown to the number one song on the Beauty & The Beast soundtrack starts now:
It's a stunning preview of the music that's to come, but I'm impatient to get to the singing.
17. "How Does A Moment Last Forever? (Music Box Version)"
Belle's dotty father played by Kevin Kline warbles out a version of Dion's credits ballad to the tune of a music box. Sweet, but slight.
16. "The Mob Song"
Gaston fulfills his potential for violence when his masculinity is threatened by leading the angry townspeople to the Beast's castle to kill him. Honestly, this song just stresses me out.
15. "How Does A Moment Last Forever (Montmartre)"
Belle muses about her childhood and her parents in this gentle, solemn track.
14. "Main Title: Prologue Pt. 1" & "Main Title: Prologue Pt. 2"
The stained glass prologue of the animated Beauty & The Beast is one of the most exquisite scenes in Disney history, due in part to this shimmery and dangerous swath of the score.
13. "Belle (Reprise)"
Belle rejects Gaston even when he's not there and doubles down on her wish for adventure with really no idea of what she's about to get herself into.
When a six-time Tony winner like Audra McDonald signs on to play a new character, you write that character a song that shows off her impeccable soprano.
11. "Beauty & The Beast (Finale)"
McDonald also leads this finale version of the title song, though it's probably better experienced in the film than it is on the album. Finale songs are funny like that.
10. "Beauty & The Beast" (John Legend & Ariana Grande Version)
John Legend and Ariana Grande take over for Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion here, and it's a totally serviceable modern update of an award-winning song. More piano, less synth.
9. "Days In The Sun"
Thoughtful of Menken to give the castle staff a real chance to mourn the time they lost due to their master's selfishness. "Days In The Sun" is perhaps the saddest song on the soundtrack and adds another note of regret to the whole movie.
An old mistake corrected. The Beast doesn't get a solo in the 1991 animated film! "Evermore" brings back what I'll now think of as the Beast's theme: the score of the prologue. And Dan Stevens emotes the crap out of the enchanted prince's changed heart and loneliness without Belle.
A stellar character introduction, "Belle" is a Broadway-style number that tells the audience everything they need to know about the heroine and her "quiet village." Watson acquits herself nicely, though there's no forgetting the original.
6. "Something There"
When friendship turns into something like love, it sounds exactly like "Something There." I'd have ranked this song higher, but I think they've slightly slowed it down a tad.
5. "Beauty & The Beast"
Emma Thompson inherits the kindly role of Mrs. Potts from Angela Lansbury, whose version of Belle and the Beast's first dance is absolutely iconic. Thompson's vocals can't compete with the sweeping score, however.
4. "Evermore" (Josh Groban Version)
Pure '90s throwback. Josh Groban's take on the Beast's love song is reminiscent of every power ballad from the golden age of Disney animated musicals. That's a good thing.
Josh Gad and Luke Evans make quite a pair. Their "Gaston" is as over-the-top and arrogant as you want it to be.
2. "How Does A Moment Last Forever?"
"Beauty & The Beast" did a lot to break Celine Dion's career in the United States. She's gone through tough personal times over the last few years, so it's thrilling to have her return to the project that put her on the map with another melancholy ode to unexpected love.
1. "Be Our Guest"
Was there ever any doubt? Ewan McGregor makes a charmingly accommodating Lumiere to lead the service extravaganza that occurs when the Beast's staff are finally able to stretch their, um, legs and show off their flair for entertaining again. Like "the gray stuff," it's delicious.
The 1991 soundtrack left this revival with a lot to live up to, but these new songs and fresh interpretations solidify the 2017 Beauty & The Beast soundtrack as its own, individual piece of work.