They’re no Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, but it’ll do. We heard a snippet of John Legend and Ariana Grande’s version of “A Tale As Old As Time” in the last live-action Beauty and the Beast trailer before the movie’s release next month. But now, just a few days later, Disney has released the complete version of the song online for everyone to enjoy in full. As of now it’s just the audio of the track rather than a proper video but that’s bound to change before the movie comes out.
It’s a bit lighter and more happily romantic than previous covers of the song have been, especially compared to the original Dion/Bryson duet and Angela Lansbury’s in-movie rendition of the song from the original animated film. Ariana fits in as many runs and flourish notes as she possibly can in the 3-plus minute run time, but at least she made sure to annunciate while recording the song so both long time fans of the material and kids discovering it for the first time can understand what she is actually saying. Legend meanwhile is as perfect on the track as you would hope, with lots of soaring notes and a voice like honey.
With any luck, there will be a 90’s-style cheesy music video to go along with this version sooner rather than later. Who can forget the beauty that was Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston belting “When You Believe” in front of pyramids and hieroglyphs? Something everybody can aspire to. For those who miss Celine’s voice here don’t worry too much — she will be singing a brand new song over the closing credits. It will of course have to be over a bit of the movie as well rather than just the credits to be eligible for the Best Song Oscar in 2018. It would be insane to get Celine to do a new song and not make sure it is eligible for a big gold statue, but at least we get a song from her either way.