For many years, there have been rumors of [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson's[/artist] involvement in the making of "Sonic the Hedgehog 3," Sega's 16-bit smash hit first released in early 1994.
According to those rumors, Jackson — who had been chummy with the folks at Sega since the release of the "Moonwalker" video game in the late '80s — was asked by the company to compose the soundtrack to "Sonic 3," the next installment in their massively popular series starring the speedy blue spineback. Being a fan of the games, Jackson accepted the offer and reportedly completed a full score, but was never credited for his work, either due to a) his child-molestation charges, b) his dissatisfaction with the finished product, or c) budgetary and scheduling issues, which forced Sega to cut several planned levels from the game.
Sega never publicly commented on Jackson's involvement with the game, but over the years, MJ fans (and avid gamers) have kept the rumor alive, creating sites,
comparing music from "Sonic 3" with some of Jackson's songs. However, there was no comment from anyone officially involved — apparently, until now.
In the latest issue of the French-language magazine Black & White
— which calls itself "le magazine official de Michael Jackson" — there is an interview with musician Brad Buxer, who, in addition to being credited with composing the music to "Sonic 3," also played keyboards for Jackson on his Dangerous world tour in 1992.
In the interview, Buxer reportedly said, "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," according to a translation posted on VGMDB.com. "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 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."
Buxer also told the magazine that some of the music he and Jackson composed for "Sonic 3" actually ended up being featured on MJ's 1995 double album, HIStory, in particular on a song called "Stranger in Moscow."
"Yes, Michael and I had composed those chords for the game," Buxer said. "And it has been used as a base for 'Stranger in Moscow.' "
At press time, a rep for Michael Jackson's estate had not responded to MTV News' request for comment on the matter, nor did a spokesperson for Sega.