Alan Menken Talks Creating New Songs For Beauty And The Beast

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Beauty and the Beast will finally hit theatres on Friday.

We are more then ready to see this live action adaptation on the big screen. I want to see pretty dresses and gorgeous sets. I am ready for it. I am looking forward to it. Anyone who tries to stop my enjoyment of this will be sorry.

I’m already pre-gaming for the film with the new soundtrack. Those thoughts on it will be shared later in the week. My clear and away fave from it? It’s the new song from Alan Menken “Evermore”. It’s amazing. Dan Stevens has a really good voice.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Alan Menken talked about these new songs and more about the production.

On my new fave “Evermore”, he had this to say.

“It would’ve been perfect to have Beast sing in the animated [movie], but we just weren’t able to find that moment in that particular medium. But on Broadway and in the live-action film, it’s essential that the Beast sing. See, the Beast is really the protagonist of the story, whose life has changed in the most dramatic way. So we wrote “Evermore,” which also ramps up everything for the end of the movie, when it’s just action, action, action.”

The other two new songs are “Days in the Sun” and “How Does A Moment Last Forever?”

“Days in the Sun” came about ten years ago, when a whisper of a live action film was bouncing around the studio.

“I was in London opening Sister Act, and Tim [Rice] and I got together and wrote two songs, including “Days in the Sun.” It’s a lullaby when the enchanted objects and Belle and Beast think about what they miss about their lives. Bill thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to establish a lot of backstory — we’re emotionally attached to these characters, and we want to feel more of a connection to who they are.”

Meanwhile, “How Does A Moment Last Forever?” gives some badly needed backstory to Belle and Maurice.

“”How Does a Moment Last Forever” is very French and holds the backstory for Belle and [her father,] Maurice. It asks, “How do we hold on to those fleeting moments in our lives?” Incredibly, we have Celine Dion singing it over the end credits, which is just so amazing. I think that song has some extra meaning for her because we lost her husband, Rene [last year]. They were such a devoted couple.”

Most fans of Beauty and the Beast are, however, wondering why we’re not seeing the Broadway songs in the film. Because there are some great ones such as “Home”, “If I Can’t Love Her”, and “Human Again”. “Human Again” was included in an anniversary edition of the film.

On the subject, Menken had this to say.

“There was an open question until we got into it. But the initial six songs from the animated musical were clearly going in. There were two [from the stage production] that I would’ve loved to use: “Human Again,” which Howard and I initially wrote for the animated movie. I love that song, but it was a nine-minute number and problematic because of the logic of the story. So instead, we used “Something There,” since both deal with Belle and the Beast falling in love and everyone anticipating becoming human again. The other one, of course, is Beast’s “If I Can’t Love Her.” The Beast has driven Belle away and now that he can’t love her, who could he ever love? It’s a moment of just crying out to the heavens. But that song was put in specifically for the act break of a Broadway show; in a film, people aren’t going out to go to the bathroom and get drinks. There’s also a song in the Broadway musical called “Home,” which is not in the movie, but Bill wanted to use the theme in the score of the scene when Belle first enters her room in the castle. I was just thrilled.”

Well if we have “If I Can’t Love Her”, then I’m glad for “Evermore”.

Expect these songs and more when Beauty and the Beast hits the screens on Friday.

Bec Heim