Ever since 2003, a theory has circulated around the Sonic fan community that Michael Jackson secretly worked on the soundtrack for Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but went uncredited for it for whatever reason. Whether or not this is true has been debated over the years. Though statements supporting the theory have popped up from those who worked on Sonic the Hedgehog 3, it has never been officially and unquestionably confirmed.
However, in a piece that Todd Van Luling wrote for the Huffington Post a couple days ago, he traces the history of the fan theory and tries to get to the bottom of things. Some outlets linking back to the article claim it finally proves that Michael Jackson did, in fact, contribute to the soundtrack – but does it really?
For one thing, as Van Luling notes, Sega has never confirmed the rumor:
Sega maintains it never worked with Jackson on Sonic 3, and is “not in the position to respond” to questions about allegations to the contrary. “We have nothing to comment on the case,” the company said.
However, “the men whom Sega credited with writing the music say otherwise.” According to them, Van Luling says:
For around four weeks in 1993, Jackson and his team worked out of Record One studio in California, creating “something like 41” tracks – or cues, as they’re called in the video game world, Buxer said. Jones remembers Jackson calling him, sometimes late at night, to share ideas and sing melodies that would eventually make it into the game.
So mission accomplished, right? Doesn’t this finally prove the fan theory? Well, yes and no. There are still a few points that those involved can’t seem to agree on – such as whether or not any of his contributions made it to the final version of the game.
Still under debate is why such a high-profile contributor’s name would be removed from the credits. If indeed some of Michael Jackson’s music was in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, why not advertise it? Some of those involved say Jackson asked for his name to be removed, because he was unhappy with the quality of the final versions of the songs. Others think it had something to do with the first allegations of child molestation that were being leveled against Jackson at the time that he was working on the soundtrack.
With Sega still unwilling to comment, there’s little hope that we’ll truly know anything for certain about these details anytime soon. But for those who believe Michael Jackson at least worked on the soundtrack, the fact that so many sources say he did is a good sign.