Can you feel the love tonight? Well, Elton John can't. Not for the music in the new Lion King movie, anyway. In a recent interview with British GQ, the bespectacled pop star let loose when it came to the remake of the 1994 Disney classic, in which of course had such a massive role as composer.
Elton John spoke to GQ about everything under the sun, from Brexit to Rocketman to what he used to write in his diary ("I saw Ringo for lunch, bought a Rolls-Royce, blah, blah, blah."). But what really stood out for many were his searing thoughts about the music in 2019's adaptation of The Lion King.
"The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up," Elton told GQ. "Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn't have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost.
"The soundtrack hasn't had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success."
Now, part of that might have to do with the fact that the music industry is way different now than it was in the mid-'90s. Almost no albums have the same staying power they might have back then. However, as someone who was disappointed by the new Lion King movie, I kind of see Elton's point.
He continued, "I wish I'd been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn't really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I'm so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical."
Elton John has never been shy about sharing his true feelings on any subject, and he certainly isn't slowing down any time soon. But honestly, I agree with him. The new Lion King was lacking, in the music department and in the magic department, and they even had Beyoncé on board, so how did they manage to mess that up?
The music from the 1994 original is just so iconic and the new filmmakers had such large shoes to fill. There kind of wasn't anywhere for them to go but down, unfortunately.
Even Beyoncé couldn't save The Lion King soundtrack, and besides, Elton came out and said he doesn't really think she's a "star" anyway. Well, maybe not in so many words. In the interview, he was asked if there are "really any stars any more."
"To be a star," he said, "you have to be a star for a long time and you have to do that by being a live performer... The only real star at the moment is Lady Gaga. She could have a career like Barbra Streisand if she wanted to. She's got the ambition, she's got the talent coming out of every pore of her body, so it's up to her whether she wants it and I think she does want it."
While many people reluctantly came out of the woodwork to say they agreed with Elton, at least on the matter of The Lion King, some had their own thoughts on the matter: "I loved it actually," one Twitter user wrote. "The original will always have a special place in my heart, but thought it was a beautiful tribute to the '94 version. Each to their own, I guess!"
No word on whether or not the Beyhive has gathered their pitchforks yet to take Elton down for not mentioning Beyoncé as a "star."