Aladdin 2019

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘A Whole New World’

The song “A Whole New World” was originally recorded in 1992 by Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson.

by Christopher Smith

“A Whole New World” was written by Alan Menken and Sir Tim Rice for the 1992 Disney animated version of ‘Aladdin’ and was performed by Peabo Bryson (b.1951) and Regina Belle (b.1963) who took it to No.1 in America, where it sold over 600,000 copies. The song was a sizable hit internationally and the film went on to gross $504 million ($921m in today’s money) worldwide.

In 2019 Disney remade their own film, this time as a live action feature with Egyptian actor Mena Massoud (b.1991) as Aladdin and British actress Naomi Scott (b.1993) as Princess Jasmine in the lead roles. Both actors recorded their version of “A Whole New World” for the film, which has now grossed over a billion dollars globally.

A second version was recorded for the soundtrack with former One Direction vocalist Zayn Malik (b.1993) and eighteen year old American singer Zhavia Ward. Their version has been released commercially and has reached the singles charts in the US and the UK as well as ‘down under’ and in parts of Europe.

But which is best? REGINA and PEABO’s original or MENA and NAOMI or ZAYN and ZHAVIA’s new versions?

Take a look at some of the other posts in this series and don’t forget to follow the playlist.


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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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