In the Sonic Internet community, there have been few stories that have captured the imagination like the tale of Sonic the Hedgehog 3‘s music. With a feel unique from the previous two entries in the series, the discussion of just who composed what have filled untold pages of conversation for well over a decade.
The reason behind that infatuation? Michael Jackson, one of the biggest pop stars of all time. A man who not only defined a decade with the release of Thriller, but also unknowingly inspired the belt buckle of Sonic’s shoes. The idea that a musical icon that large was connected to the gaming sensation of the 90’s in any way was incredibly tantalizing. It wouldn’t be long before audio files, YouTube videos, and snippets of interviews would fill in the gaps. From Qjimbo to GameTrailers, everyone sought to find the answer to what seemed the impossible – confirmation that the King of Pop had been involved in the soundtrack of Sonic 3 at some point, as SEGA’s official line to this day has been to deny or leave no comment.
While it has been almost certainly determined that Michael Jackson was not only involved but that some of his contributions made it to the cartridge, the Huffington Post’s Test Kitchen released today a brand new look at the entire Sonic 3 Jackson story. From what happened behind the scenes to the fandom’s unending interest in the truth, “The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy” by Todd Van Luling covers it all.
With new interviews from Roger Hector, Doug Grigsby III, Brad Buxer, Cirocco Jones and Matt Forger, to comments from Ben Mallison and Steven Nipper that illuminate the community’s part in the story, the article is definitely worth a read for those with even a passing interest in the subject matter.
The only question I’m left with is…who has ever called a Sonic fan a “Blue?”
Source: Huffington Post
If it wasn’t enough that Gametrailers went digging for more information on Michael Jackson’s involvement with Sonic the Hedgehog 3, turns out there was more involvement by another certain pop singer of the eighties than anticipated.
On YouTube, Fervor Records has posted a few unreleased music tracks on December 11th, 2009 from the band “The Jetzons.” One track, named “Hard Times” shares a more than vague resemblance to the theme of Ice Cap Zone. In fact, it may as well be exactly the same thing. What is the cause of this? The keyboardist of the group, Brad Buxer would work on the title, along with Michael Jackson as he confirmed in this interview conducted in the same year. While he does state he is not sure what material the developers used in the game, turns out to be remnants of the unreleased song linked above. You can listen to the song side by side to Ice Cap thanks to a video provided by staff member Skyler here.
This piece of information will no doubt raise additional questions about who exactly did what with the music to Sonic 3, however this evidence adds to the ever growing mystery of the involvement of the two pop stars.
Special thanks also goes to staff member GeneHF for pointing out this information.
Often speculated and argued, Michael Jackson’s involvement with Sonic 3 has finally been confirmed by way of composer Brad Buxer in an interview by Black and White magazine.
B&W: Can you clarify the rumor that Michael had in 1993 composed the music for Sonic 3 video game, for which you havel been credited?
Buxer: I’ve never played the game so I do not know what tracks on which Michael and I have worked the developers have kept, but we did compose music for the game. Michael called me at the time for help on this project, and that’s what I did.
And if he is not credited for composing the music, it’s because he was not happy with the result sound coming out of the console. At the time, game consoles did not allow an optimal sound reproduction, and Michael found it frustrating. He did not want to be associated with a product that devalued his music…
B&W: One of the surprising things in this soundtrack is that you can hear the chords from Stranger in Moscow, which is supposed to have been composed later…
Buxer: Yes, Michael and I had composed those chords for the game, and it has been used as base for Stranger in Moscow. […]
For more discussion and speculation, check out the topic on the forums here.