The "Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles" Quest for Music Composer Research

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by T.Q., Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think it's most probable, especially after hearing that interview, that SEGA contracted Michael Jackson to do the music for Sonic 3, he quickly lost interest and tasked Brad Buxer with managing it. Buxer then made the 41 cues with the 'MJ Team' credited in the game and that's basically it. I don't really think there's much mystery around it anymore, at least whether Michael actually contributed much to it.

    With the Jam vocal sample and the music similarity between Carnival Night and Jam, I imagine that's the work of Buxer. Buxer's not credited as a songwriter on Jam, but he is credited as working on the song.

    If I had to guess, Michael Jackson isn't credited because he didn't care about it. And from SEGA's point of view, they were probably happy to have his team credited and not Michael himself after the scandals. It wouldn't have felt bad for them to do so anyway, considering Michael had basically nothing to do with the game.
     
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  2. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    This honestly sounds like the most likely timeline of events. It just sucks that without further clarification we're reduced to making educated guesses at best. It feels like we're closer than ever to the full story, but not quite there yet.
     
  3. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think Roger Hector's point of view makes way more sense now too.

    From his point of view, Michael Jackson was contracted to work on the game but his music had to be changed when the allegations came out. He doesn't realise, because he isn't personal friends with Michael, that Michael has basically contributed nothing to the soundtrack and eventually wants nothing to do with the game. So when he hears Buxer and 'MJ's Team' are now working on the game, he probably assumes that Michael's songs really are being replaced, even if he knows they are associates of his. And he works at STI not the Sonic 3 project, so he might not even know specifically who's doing what.

    Add a few decades to fuzzy the memory and it gets more confusing. Sonic 3 originally had a soundtrack composed by the Japanese composers, Michael Jackson comes on board but composes basically nothing, 'MJ's team replace some of the Japanese songs. You can imagine why you'd get confused over which song replaced what, especially considering how confused the releases got with the music: Sonic Jam and Sonic PC Collection for example.
     
  4. NeoFusionBox

    NeoFusionBox

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    I just don't get why we can't have credits for the other songs, though? Like, why SEGA just put "by SEGA Sound Team" for a song like Mushroom Hill, but doesn't credits the actual artist itself? They could have done that at least for Sonic & Knuckles, I dunno...
     
  5. Dissident93 confirmed earlier that Miyoko Takaoka made Marble Garden Act 1 (but not Act 2) and that Masayuki Nagao made Hidrocity Act 2 (but not Act 1).
     
  6. PhotonSeek

    PhotonSeek

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    It seems Sega like to treat them as the one game.

    Also, perhaps Wave Master don't have the credits documentation for each track anymore. When I asked Sawada about S3K back in 2015, he said he couldn't say who done each track anymore and a later correspondence with him about Golden Axe III revealed he didn't have the documentation for who did what anymore nor does he remember. That's probably the case for S3K too. This probably also applies to other Wave Master employees.
     
  7. BlackFive

    BlackFive

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    There was a theory that got discussed on the Mania thread a few years ago in regards to individual music credits- essentially, when it came to music licensing agreements in the 1980s-90s, Japanese media companies would often come to limited music licensing agreements, and their rights to use the music change if attention is drawn to the problematic element. I brought up the possibility that Sonic 3&K's music gets lumbered with a generic "Sega" credit because if Sega released individual credits for the tracks that they have the rights to use- and only those tracks- it would draw attention to the tracks they weren't crediting, i.e. the ones composed by Buxer and co.

    In hindsight though, I'm not sure if that's the whole story. It could well play a part, but the "Sega" credit is used for other games as well. Sonic Generations' OST credits Sega for composing Door into Summer and Tube Panic, even though I'm not aware of any legal issues surrounding Knuckles' Chaotix's soundtrack. I'm inclined to agree with Drdevilfx that Sega themselves probably don't have S3's music credits available at hand.

    The 10th Anniversary album really does seem to suggest this is the case. They were happy to credit Sawada and Kashima for S3's title music and the Special Stage respectively, but it seems that none of the credited composers were responsible for Angel Island or Sky Sanctuary, which were included in the album.
     
  8. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    As much as I love the final tracks, I'm really starting to wish they had used the prototype ones instead. They're still good tracks, we never would've known what we were missing out on, and the game would continue to get rereleased alongside its brothers.
     
  9. Literally all of this could have been avoided had SoJ not been so stingy in paying Masato Nakamura more. :v
     
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  10. PhotonSeek

    PhotonSeek

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    Yeah, if they brought Nakamura back in there would be no confusion about who did what. If not, then even if MJ wasn't involved, there's still a possibility we wouldn't have a full composer breakdown. Several Sonic games, even ones like Sonic 3D Blast or the Sonic Advance series, never received soundtrack releases. There is a possibility that they would need to pay Cube royalties too, unless they bought the full rights to their tracks.
     
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  11. Qjimbo

    Qjimbo

    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    The tracks Brad Buxer et al. made really did elevate the game though. Particularly the Mini Boss. It really stands out and gives the game a completely different feel. I don't like that it is gone in S3&K.

    This may seem random, but I sort of compare the prototype vs final music tracks argument to the Aladdin MD/GEN vs Aladdin SNES argument. While some people feel Aladdin for the SNES is superior, to me it has very Generic Capcom feel, using the same engine as Magical Quest, etc., where as Aladdin MD/GEN feels more interesting and has more character and stands out. I think the Japanese musicians who made the music for Sonic 3 and the prototype music are very talented, but the prototype tracks that were replaced do sound very... generic to my ear. Just very typical by-the-numbers, and I'm saying this as someone who loves japanese video game music.

    Totally would have loved to hear Masato Nakamura's take on it though.
     
  12. sonicthesnot

    sonicthesnot

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    I've always thought the S3K PC tracks sounded so dinky and puny compared the the more beastly versions in the Genesis version.

    Honestly I think the best move would've been to have MJ do the Sonic CD soundtrack.
     
  13. Loop

    Loop

    Member
    Drossin mentions here that Setsumaru, the music programmer, did the Act 2 remixes accordingly to the sound of the original tracks that Drossin provided. Plus, not all of the tracks he wrote ended up being used... wondering if Setsumaru also did remixes with tracks from the whole SEGA Sound Team?...
     
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  14. Drossin entered the project late, to compose Songs for the Sonic & Knuckles part. He said that he just composed single songs, if there was a need for a remix Setsu would make them. But there's no evidence that points to Drossin ever making level BGMs.
     
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  15. Loop

    Loop

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  16. PhotonSeek

    PhotonSeek

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    Quite a few of these tracks give me Launch Base Zone vibes, mainly due to their funkiness and use of Latin percussion. Perhaps he was involved with said track's composition or arrangement.
     
  17. Despatche

    Despatche

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    I think this has to do with a certain part of old game dev culture that also lead to the nicknames we often see in old game credits. Back then, nicknames were used to "hide" developers so they couldn't be poached by other companies. The Sonic 3 team was called in to do something that exceeded two works of a pretty popular pop artist*, a pretty big deal. Maybe Sega thought this practice was necessary for this game, at least at first.

    Assuming this is the case, as to why CD never got that treatment, I don't know. The CD team always seemed very different fundamentally, even with how they do little details like what to call a "Zone" or an "Act", so they may not have cared as much about this. It also helps that CD was a two person job, and not the large list of people who signed on to do Sonic 3 (and Golden Axe III).

    The other thing is that as we started hitting the '90s, you saw less of this. It's also not known whether a given game or developer was using nicknames for obfuscation purposes, or simply to be cool (at least some teams had to be).

    For what it's worth, Konami rarely did composer breakdowns of their "Konami Kukeiha Club" (who used to just be called "Konami Sound Staff" and similar btw), and it's been a decades-long battle to figure out who did what (and to beg Konami to actually release breakdowns).

    *DREAMS COME TRUE may have been somewhat new at the time of Sonic 1, but they were still pretty popular even at that point. All of their albums from the start were selling millions per. The Swinging Star was the big post-Sonic album, and it sold three million despite Sonic being mostly a cult game in Japan at the time. The Swinging Star was also released and advertised alongside Sonic 2. Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  18. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

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    Drossin was only credited in S&K (or if you lock it on and use sonic 3 & k). He was not credited in S3 only. So it would be fairly obvious that he only did S&K tunes, and the fact that most S&K tunes exist in Sonic 3 gives a further clue as to what he did and did not do. Also some of his tracks reappear in that Virtua Sonic Sega Tunes CD, another clue.

    He most likely did the S&K theme, the invincibility music (same as the S&K theme), and the new Knuckles theme.

    But I'm sure that this is nothing new.
     
  19. Despatche

    Despatche

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    Drossin was credited in Sonic 3, but as Special Thanks. They may have tried to hide his involvement while still explicitly crediting him, since the majority of it became S&K-related material. For all we know, the Knuckles theme in the proto was entirely a placeholder. I would laugh if an S3 proto appears with the S&K Knuckles theme in it but with the original songs for Carnival Night/IceCap/Launch Base.
     
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  20. Sir_mihael

    Sir_mihael

    DON'T TRUST THIS MAN Member
    It's odd to me, as BOTH S3 Knuckles themes feel like placeholders. One clearly not being good enough to be used for S&K Knuckles' theme, and the other simply being a stripped down version of the S3 Mid-Boss theme. Time constraints probably played a part in both of these things.

    The S3 Proto theme is just "Here's a mean guy who's causing you trouble", whereas the S&K theme actually has some character personality sitting in there.
     
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