A new interview with credited musicians of Sonic 3 have added more weight to the age-old theory that the late pop star, Michael Jackson, was deeply involved with the Mega Drive classic’s soundtrack – and that his work was in fact left on the cartridge, not removed.
“Oh, it did get in the game. The stuff we handed in, the stuff we did, made it. To. The game,” said Sonic 3 composer Doug Grigsby III, who stated that the reason Jackson removed his name from the game’s credits was due to the artist not being satisfied with the audio capabilities of the Mega Drive console.
“Michael wanted his name taken off the credits if they couldn’t get it to sound better,” fellow composer Brad Buxer claimed. The long-form interview piece, found on the Huffington Post, adds that the music tracks ‘started out sounding like typical Jackson songs’ before Grigsby added that “it all had to be squashed down for the game.”
Former SEGA executive Roger Hector admits that Michael Jackson worked on the Sonic 3 soundtrack, however he claims that the pop star’s music was removed – and the deal terminated – due to Jackson’s high-profile molestation allegations that surfaced during the game’s development. “We had to replace it all,” he said, with Howard Drossin brought in to do the job of composing a new soundtrack.
Only problem is, that didn’t really happen, according to Drossin. “There was a lot of music already plugged into [the game],” he said, with the article adding that Drossin ‘didn’t change much… and certainly didn’t rewrite the whole soundtrack before handing it off to Sega for final processing.’
Buxer was the first to speak openly about Jackson’s work in a 2009 interview with a French Michael Jackson tribute fanzine. SEGA has always steadfastly denied Jackson’s involvement, and true to form commented on the story with, “[We’re] not in the position to respond… we have nothing to comment on the case.”
We really recommend reading the whole feature on Huffington Post, as it covers a lot of extra detail on Michael Jackson’s work attitude when composing for the game, as well as a bunch of other tidbits.