In advance of the March 17 opening of the live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” Walt Disney Records has released “Evermore,” one of the three new songs written for the film by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken. The tune, which has lyrics by Sir Tim Rice, comes at a pivotal moment in the story. The Beast (Dan Stevens) is bemoaning his decision to let Belle (Emma Watson) leave his castle and return to her father.
In the 1994 stage version of the 1991 animated classic, Menken and Rice had crafted another song, “If I Can’t Love Her” for this key scene that ended Act One. By swapping out that one for this, the pair are likely to be strong contenders for the Best Song Oscar. While Stevens handles the singing in the film, Disney enlisted the Grammy-winning Josh Groban to also record a version and that is the one featured today.
With eight Oscars (Song and Score for “The Little Mermaid” , “Beauty and the Beast” , “Aladdin” , and “Pocahontas” ), 11 Grammy Awards (two for “Little Mermaid,” three for “Beauty and the Beast,” four for “Aladdin,” one for “Pocahontas,” and one for “Tangled” ), and a Tony for his original score to “Newsies” (2012), Menken is just one Emmy win away from becoming the 13th person to claim the EGOT.
Likewise for Rice who is equally well-regarded as a lyricist. He has three Oscars for his collaborations with Menken (“A Whole New World” from “Aladdin”), Elton John (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King,” 1994) and Andrew Lloyd Webber on a new song for the 1996 film version of “Evita,” which won them a Tony for Best Score back in 1980. He also shared in a Tony with John in 2000 for their score for “Aida.” And he and Menken won a Song of the Year Grammy for “A Whole New World.”