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Sonic Origins Apparently Cut Michael Jackson Soundtrack

Sonic Origins Apparently Cut Michael Jackson Soundtrack
Optimum Productions | SEGA

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

24th Jun 2022 11:13

While some of us can't wait to spin through the Green Hill Zone, Hydrocity Zone, and beyond, not everyone is impressed with Sonic Origins. Still, the release of the repacked version of these SEGA classics has potentially cleared up a long-running rumour that's bothered us for the past 28 years. Did Michael Jackson compose the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Much like the GTA Trilogy bringing back those classic Rockstar titles, SEGA has lumped together Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Players were already annoyed that SEGA was forcing you to buy Origins because it delisted the classic games, but that's nothing compared to series creator Yuji Naka's thoughts. You might be asking though, how does Michael Jackson fit into all of this?

Did Michael Jackson Compose Music For Sonic The Hedgehog 3? 

Way back when, it was claimed that the late Michael Jackson teamed with keyboardist Brad Buxer to provide the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in 1994. Buxer later said that Jackson didn't like the way SEGA handled his songs, and when later releases came out, there was a different music track... or so the legend goes. SEGA has never officially confirmed or denied that Jackson's music was used in Sonic 3, and to this day, he isn't credited anywhere on the game.

Jump forward to 2022, and a confusing string of tweets from Naka only makes things worse. Posting on Twitter about Sonic Origins' new soundtrack, Naka wrote, "Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson's music." This seemingly puts the rumours to bed and confirms the former King of Pop really did have a hand in the debut of Knuckles. Hold your horses though. 

Naka has since posted a follow-up and claimed that his tweets are being "misunderstood" because he doesn't speak English and used a translation tool. He also tried to clarify that he was referring to a SEGA TikTok video that used Jackson's music to celebrate Sonic's 31st birthday. Is this really the case, or has someone up high told him to keep quiet about the whole sordid affair? 

 

The Sonic Music Rights Are A Mess

We'd already guessed that the potentially problematic soundtrack might be given the boot. Previously, Sonic Social Media Manager Katie Chrzanowski said: "While unfortunately we can't use all the original sounds from the Sega Genesis version of the game, Jun Senoue has been working really hard to adapt the original music that was composed in 1993 for Sonic Origins."

For years now, gaming and music fans alike have compared the original Sonic 3 soundtrack to Jackson's hits including "Jam", "Smooth Criminal", and "Stranger in Moscow". Now that the OG versions of the game have been delisted, there's no way to go back and try to hunt for clues that Jackson played a part in this retro runner. Sadly, this remains one of gaming's biggest urban legends and remains up there with Lavender Town's supposedly suicidal music in Pokemon or the nude Lara Croft cheat code.

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