A Long Debated Topic, Finally Settled
Video Game Music artist dma over on the VGMdb forums has revealed today that the French Michael Jackson magazine “Black & White” confirmed Jackson’s involvement with composing music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in their interview with Brad Buxer who also worked on the project:
B&W: Can you clarify the rumor that Michael had in 1993 composed the music for Sonic 3 video game, for which you have 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.
Unfortunately, Buxer only confirms Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s End Credits as having chords which he and Jackson composed. However, I had the chance to meet Jun Senoue, composer of the series since Sonic 3, in September at Video Games Live Tokyo. He could neither confirm nor deny Jackson’s involvement, but he himself noted that trademark Michael Jackson “whoo”s were evident in Sonic 3’s Knuckles’ Theme (later changed in Sonic & Knuckles).
Jackson’s involvement in composing some of the soundtrack had been long-rumoured and much debated in the Sonic community. For an interesting read, the Sonic Retro wiki collates every last piece of evidence on the subject.