One of the last remaining disputes hanging around the Sonic community has been the ‘did he, didn’t he’ surrounding Michael Jackson’s supposed involvement in Sonic 3’s soundtrack. Turns out such rumours have been well and truly confirmed, as a French MJ tribute magazine, Black and White, spoke to fellow composer Brad Buxer about his involvement in the game.
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.
Brad Buxer is a well known collaborator with Jackson on several projects, and his appearance in Sonic 3’s credits suggested that perhaps the King of Pop had a hand in music creation as well. But Jackson’s name does not appear in the credits, perhaps using an alias or even removing himself from public knowledge at all. Buxer explains:
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…
It was also revealed that the links between the Sonic 3 Credits theme and Jackson hit Stranger In Moscow do share the same beat because the former was used as the base for the latter.
Several months after Michael Jackson’s untimely passing, his deep roots with the SEGA of the 1990s has been truly revealed, allowing us to respect a great artist’s work even more. Thanks to Sonic Retro for the posting of this news, and to Silva Rymes for sending us a tip (which we noticed after we posted this – sorry!).
Update: ArchAngelUK has informed us that there is specific mention of Michael Jackson on Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, under the Sonic 3 ‘Museum’ section.
Upon inspection, the March 2009 compilation confirms nothing of Jackson’s actual contribution, only that he “was originally going to be” composing. In fact, the exact wording of the phrase implies an outright denial of Jackson’s eventual involvement. Buxer’s comments in the Black & White magazine almost negate the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection reference entirely by confirming Jackson was in fact involved after all.