John, who wrote five songs for the original 1994 animated film, said the remake was a “huge disappointment.”
He returned to the studio for the film to help adapt his classic versions of Circle of Life and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, but John said the studio “messed up the music.”
Speaking to GQ, John said: “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.
He continued: “The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact on 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.”
The 72-year-old singer said he wished he had “been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around.”
“I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad,” John said.
He added that he’s “so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.”
The Tiny Dancer singer is currently promoting his new memoir, Me, which hit shelves on Oct. 15.
In his memoir, John shared that he found the late Michael Jackson to be a “disturbing person to be around” and “genuinely mentally ill.”
“I’d known Michael since he was 13 or 14,” he wrote, according to the Independent. “Elizabeth Taylor had turned up on the Starship with him in tow. He was just the most adorable kid you could imagine. But at some point in the intervening years, he started sequestering himself away from the world, and away from reality the way Elvis Presley did.”
In the book, John reportedly wrote that after having met Jackson as a teenager, he found himself wondering “what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of” during the late singer’s “later years.”
“God knows what was going on in his head, and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles,” John wrote.
“I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around. It was incredibly sad, but he was someone you couldn’t help: he was just gone, off in a world of his own, surrounded by people who only told him what he wanted to hear.”
John recalled Jackson attending one of his dinner parties, saying the late Thriller singer didn’t eat anything and disappeared for a few hours before being found “in a cottage in the grounds of Woodside where my housekeeper lived: she was sitting there, watching Michael Jackson quietly playing video games with her 11-year-old son. For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to cope with adult company at all.”
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