Richard Jacques Criticizes Tee Lopes After Sonic R Remix Released

Richard Jacques Criticizes Tee Lopes After Sonic R Remix Released

by November 8, 2019 10 comments

Sonic fans active on Twitter attempted to cancel longtime Sonic music contributor Richard Jacques Thursday night, after a critical response he wrote on the social media service to a remixed rendition of Sonic R’s Can You Feel the Sunshine appeared to attack the remixed work’s composer, Tee Lopes.

Jacques, a BAFTA nominee who first joined Sega Europe’s in-house music team 25 years ago and has contributed to and remixed Sonic game soundtracks as recently as this year’s Team Sonic Racing, deleted the Tweets after getting ratioed by many community onlookers. TSSZ has managed to save two of his remarks in repute: His original response to the remix and music video posted to the official Sonic Twitter feed, and his bailing out of several angry responses to his remarks.

In these remarks, Jacques accuses Lopes of a “bad job and a bad arrangement,” not ceding credit to him as the song’s original composer, and exploiting the work for “personal social media likes.” He also implies it’s not the first time such a scenario has happened. In one Tweet not screenshot for posterity, Jacques cited a UK copyright law as part of his criticism and defense.

The Can You Feel the Sunshine remix, which also features Tee’s sister Mariana and in-house Sonic composer Jun Senoue, has been viewed more than a quarter of a million times across social media since its release Thursday. It lacked proper credit in the post to Twitter, and observant fans noted a credit to Jacques only appeared on Youtube shortly after its publication.

Adding to the tension were some fans’ queasy feelings of deja-vu, reminiscent of when former Sonic comic writer Ken Penders announced he owned the rights to characters and stories he created for the then-Archie series. Penders ultimately prevailed in a court settlement, upending a near 25-year continuity. It is unclear what agreements Jacques has, if any, regarding the rights to his compositions in Sonic games.

Today, Jacques moved forward, with only a passing mention of yesterday’s events in a Tweet that’s still active as of this article’s publication waving the whole situation off as “nonsense.” It remains unclear what exactly prompted Jacques to remove his original remarks from Twitter.

Lopes, for his part, took the high road in the middle of the social media storm, adding this to the conversation without direct mention of the controversy.

And TJ Davis, on vocals for the original music back in 1997, got tangentially and positively involved:

Perhaps the best method to judge a work is to watch and listen to it yourself, so we have it embedded below for you to review.


10 Comments so far

  1. GUNSjk20
    #1 GUNSjk20 8 November, 2019, 21:11

    Honestly the remix was trash though. There are other remixes on “Can you Feel the Sunshine” out that add and even improve to the original version. Tee’s version sounds like a quick project that had no effort put into it at all.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ninetails2000
    #2 Ninetails2000 8 November, 2019, 22:57

    Honestly, the remix feels kinda…sterilized…Like, the original had this bright, optimistic, cheesey sincerity to it that was a large part of why it’s such an ear worm. The remix on the other hand just feels….eeh. It slows the tempo for no real gain, the instrumentation feels empty and incomplete and the singer, for as much as I can tell she’s trying, just lacks the kind of power that this song demands. The end result sounds like some B-Roll filler song you’d hear on a Highschool Musical knockoff. As if it were made out of obligation with not further work put into it.

    And if Richard is commenting on the quality of the song, then you’d damn well better listen because he’s one of the grand elder musicians of the Sonic series, just as much as someone like Jun.

    Reply this comment
  3. IceHedge
    #3 IceHedge 8 November, 2019, 23:44

    What is this hate?? I have.. so much to say on this, but let me condense it.

    What process is there that one has to go through to be ‘OK’d on a remix or cover? There is a legal process, fine. But if that work belongs to a corporation, who’s at fault here? Maybe that’s what Oliver meant by stating Ken Penders winning his lawsuit to continue his story with Lara Le and Julie Sue and whatever other characters he created in the Sonic verse- so would Richard Jacques have rights concerning Can You Feel The Sunshine and all other tracks in Sonic R? Or would that be under Sega’s authority?

    It sounds to me Richard wasn’t consulted on it. I mean, any other artist I know would feel honored and has always shown gratitude for fan works. Is it unsetting to him because professional musicians in Tee Lopes, Jun Senoue, and Lopes’s sister were involved(don’t know her name yet, with her talent I’m sure I’ll grow to remember)?

    Honestly this is one of the best remixes I’ve heard, and there are some really good ones all over Youtube. To see Richard give it such a harsh thumbs down has me worry I may not be as attached to his works as I thought.

    The above poster mentions Richard is just as formidable as Jun- ok, but since Jun worked on this, I imagine he approves of it. So what now? I really feel the passion in this and love it. You don’t have to- you do you, but I just don’t feel Tee Lopes deserves the garbage end of this stick.

    Reply this comment
    • CovenantArks
      CovenantArks 18 November, 2019, 09:19

      I think you’re just blowing smoke because you like the remix.

      Whether or not this would be something serious enough to warrant legal action is up for debate, however to make a remix and post it publicly without giving credit to the original composer is absolutely bad taste.

      You did all the work to recreate the track but can’t take 2 mins to research who created your source material and credit them? It’s basic common courtesy and principal if nothing else. This remix would LITERALLY not exist if it wasn’t for Richard’s original work on that soundtrack.

      Sidenote, I’ll concede a slight bias toward Richard here as his work literally constituted a large chunk of my happy childhood memories. So without question, I’m riding for my guy on this. Tee can kick rocks with the generic PC response as well. Not even an apology from the guy smh…

      Reply this comment
  4. SSJSonicXX14
    #4 SSJSonicXX14 9 November, 2019, 00:02

    This is less remix and more meh soft reboot and that’s probably what set Jacques off with not being credited as it gives the impression of being replaced
    Another thing is that he might be thinking that his place as the outsider musician that works longterm with Sega on original music and remixes is nearing it’s end, the talent that came together to make Mania is the future of this franchise.

    Anyone out there ready to treat Richard like they did an actual POS like Penders should be ashamed

    Reply this comment
  5. Onaterdem
    #5 Onaterdem 9 November, 2019, 02:52

    I love Richard Jacques and I love Tee Lopes. Haven’t had the time to listen yet, been a busy week. Prejudice, yes, but no way it’ll top the Generations and After the Sequel remixes. But however bad it may be, I think Jacques’ criticism was this harsh because he was simply b*tthurt he wasn’t credited (I’m not saying this in a bad way). He is rightful to be so, and if the remix really is bad then he’s rightful to criticize it, but his wording was just… Terrible… And it turned into such an unnecessary Twitter BS. I hope they quickly get through this. They’ve both contributed greatly to the Sonic franchise and other franchises too (check out RJ’s LBP2 works, they’re great) and I really wouldn’t want them arguing.

    Reply this comment
  6. SSNTails
    #6 SSNTails 9 November, 2019, 07:03

    Richard Jacques has COMPLIMENTED fans who have remixed his work in the past and done an excellent job. So he’s not just being ‘mine mine mine’ nasty here, he’s likely expressing a valid point.

    Most folks that are classicaly trained musicians will probably react similarly to Tee Lopes material. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it.

    Reply this comment
  7. Hifihedgehog
    #7 Hifihedgehog 9 November, 2019, 10:58

    While I do not agree with Jacques’ handling of the situation, he was well within his rights to air his concerns out in the open. The reason is SEGA likely paid Tee Lopes to do this remix making it a commercial cover. I am uncertain of the legal terms of the songs rights and others like Tristan would probably be able to speak to this, but if SEGA only has rights to use the original song without modification, that means they just stepped on a legal landmine. If not, what they did was legally correct but ethically wrong. It is an unspoken rule to always seek permission from the original song writer (even if the work is technically SEGA’s) and then to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS credit them. Otherwise, it shows little regard for the time and effort the creator poured into making their work.

    As for the cover, yuck and double yuck. I hate it! It lacks soul and it sounds like cookie-cutter, mass-produced, synthetic pop. I understand every artist likes to branch out and have creative freedom to try entirely new q, but Tee Lopes needs to stick to his forte of bit music because his latest round of covers have been generally lackluster.

    Reply this comment
  8. Nuzamaki90
    #8 Nuzamaki90 9 November, 2019, 16:40

    Rich was definitely right. This version was awful. I listen to that song on Spotify because of how good it is, how much emotion TJ exudes with her vocals and the serene sounds from the production. This version lacked all of that. And to top it all off, it lacked credits. Jesus.

    This generation is just too sensitive and not open to valid criticism. Rich has been a big supporter in fan renditions of songs before so to say he’s hating is bullocks. Not everything Tee Lopes puts out deserves to be held on some super high pedestal lol

    Reply this comment
  9. Greatsong
    #9 Greatsong 10 November, 2019, 04:11

    Meh, while I honestly find this remix to be somewhat decent, I heard better versions of the song. And although Jacques could have, and should have, handled the situation a little bit better, I can uderstand where he is coming from. Lopes and the rest of his team should have credited him.

    Reply this comment