Confirmed: Michael Jackson Did Work On Sonic 3 Soundtrack

Confirmed: Michael Jackson Did Work On Sonic 3 Soundtrack

sonic_jacksonOne 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.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. As if the pictures of him and Sonic hanging out weren’t proof enough that they were involved in a relationship, a strictly business relationship mind you.

  2. I think anyone who takes this as gospel or is remotely surprised needs their head examining. I think it’s been glaringly obvious he worked on this game, but I find it incredibly surprising that someone would put effort into a soundtrack for one of the most anticipated videogame sequels ever, then not want to put your name on it, regardless of how unhappy you are with the outcome.

    Shame it takes him to pop his clogs before this was revealed; seems nobody cares until somebody famous dies.

  3. Shame that Jackson couldn’t see past the “imperfections” of 16-bit sound and enjoyed his work for what it was. Still, the gaming community sees the Sonic 3 soundtrack as a triumph so no harm done.

  4. He was frustrated with the limited sound capabilities of a Mega Drive?

    Is that why MoonWalker was released on it and the Master System? 😛

  5. Whilst it’s cool and all that, I kinda liked the fact that it was never truely confirmed, it was a bit of a mystery of something that many considered to be so awesome for both Sonic and MJ, it would be one thing that we could all go giddy over, “did he? didn’t he?” Now though it’s “did he?” “Yes he did… moving on”

  6. This is very interesting, its kind of a letdown that he decided he didnt want to be part of the project after all.
    I have a feeling not all the info is being givin though.

  7. Dont you think MJ knew already that the sound wouldnt be optimal…

    Something strange about this in my opinion.

  8. I already knew that. I think it also should be noted that the music on Sky Chase Zone in STH2 is an instumental version of his song “Rock My World”

  9. I continue to dispute this. I am not willing to concede to either side until an official SEGA represenative speaks.

  10. Finally some confirmation. Thank you for letting us know.
    Michale Jackson was great. Too bad he didn’t like the sound of the music on the Mega Drive. But we loved it. …in case some of tunes really are his.

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