If it wasn’t enough that Gametrailers went digging for more information on Michael Jackson’s involvement with Sonic the Hedgehog 3, turns out there was more involvement by another certain pop singer of the eighties than anticipated.
On YouTube, Fervor Records has posted a few unreleased music tracks on December 11th, 2009 from the band “The Jetzons.” One track, named “Hard Times” shares a more than vague resemblance to the theme of Ice Cap Zone. In fact, it may as well be exactly the same thing. What is the cause of this? The keyboardist of the group, Brad Buxer would work on the title, along with Michael Jackson as he confirmed in this interview conducted in the same year. While he does state he is not sure what material the developers used in the game, turns out to be remnants of the unreleased song linked above. You can listen to the song side by side to Ice Cap thanks to a video provided by staff member Skyler here.
This piece of information will no doubt raise additional questions about who exactly did what with the music to Sonic 3, however this evidence adds to the ever growing mystery of the involvement of the two pop stars.
Special thanks also goes to staff member GeneHF for pointing out this information.
What the f… this is amazing. Can’t believe nobody noticed during the FOUR YEARS this video was on YouTube.
I made a mash-up of my own. Hopefully it can also be useful.
Wow, VERY similar. Also the song sounds great, wonder why it was never released.
Now, while I doubt Mr. Buxer or the rest of the band will actually see any kick back from this, I do encourage people to at least show some support by picking the song up off your friendly digital download service.
Rest of the album is very good, if you enjoy that 80s pop sound. Don’t know if I’d group it with New Wave, but it’s still good stuff. It’s a shame there’s no physical release, but this will do.
I absolutely love New Wave music, I’ll certainly be getting these albums. =D
If the plot gets any thicker, it’ll be concrete by this point.
My mind is blown!
Oh yeah, no doubt about this one. The resemblance is more than uncanny, it’s spot on.
It’s actually kind of neat to hear legit lyrics for such an iconic Sonic song.
That’s it! I’m downloading this song.
I love it even more than the Ice Cap version it spawned.
awesome. truly awesome.
I’ve made a perfect mashup between the two songs using just some samples from the YM2612. Hope you like it.
You sir win the internet.
Know we know why it was unreleased.
This is freakin ridiculous (and quite hilarious)! I love that these answers keep flying in after all these years. I wonder how many more unreleased songs are out there with our all too familiar Sonic 3 vibes! Great discovery.
Something that has irked me is how “Who Is It” still sounds somewhat similar…and it was released in 1992. How far back does Brad’s and MJ’s “friendship” go? Could it be that MJ was possibly in trouble during the development of Sonic 3 and there was a discovery of a certain similarity made? Maybe I’m thinking too deep into it, but WHO Is It still sounds eerily close to Hard Times/Icecap. At least we have the direct source for Icecap down now….we have many more to go.
But then you have to think of the other similarity there was other than Who Is It and IceCap Zone. The other similarity being none other than Smooth Criminal.
I’m not dismissing this evidence, but something is bugging me about this Hard Times and IceCap Zone, especially that now this makes you wonder what the hell was going with the composition for Sonic 3.
A composition predating the game by 12 years, give or take. Original work finally seeing the light of day 27 years after and brought to the forefront of the community 4 years after that. Classic series knows how to keep things interesting I must say.
I am a person that is completely dumb when it comes to international legal fuss, but are there any reasons besides “I’d give less money, they’d take more money” that would prevent Sega or anyone else from licensing this for a game?
It’s nice Charles Dickens took time out of his busy schedule to compose this classic piece of music. First @tehzed: Winnie the Pooh composed Ice Cap 0:25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4W9qyMhpN0
I bet you Launch Base’s music is another song.
Think about it – It doesn’t exactly sound like that much of a “final level” tune, now does it?
Besides, it was also another song to be replaced in the PC version of Sonic 3
I don’t think the songs being replaced have much to do with this issue. From what I understand, Carnival Night, Ice Cap, and Launch Base’s BGM were all replaced for the PC version because the songs used synthesized vocal effects, which was something that not all home PCs supported at the time. (You’ll notice that the “Knuckles Theme” and “Boss Music” in the PC version ditches the Sonic 3 versions in favor of the S&K versions for the same reason.)
On a slightly related anecdote; I actually played the PC version of S3&K before the console version (I never had a Genesis), so I became so familiar with the PC version music, I was confused when I finally got my hands on the Genesis version and it had different music. I’ve since become so familiar with the Genesis music, I don’t even remember the PC versions anymore.
Well I’m not surprised that Launch Base doesn’t sound much of a final level track, seeing that it was at one point and still isn’t a final level, due to Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles being developed as one game.
Holy crap, I think you’re onto something there! Wasn’t Carnival Night like that too?
You sure that’s not a vocalized remix of Ice Cap Zone 1?
Seeing as the song was made in 1982…
Well, Carnival Night was an example of Michael Jackson’s work.
I never said it wasn’t, I was just explaining that ot wasn’t the reason it got replaced. Besides, we really have no way of knowing for sure which songs were Jackson’s or not other than educated guesses; even the people who worked on the game can’t seem to remember which songs were his.
There’s a problem with your theory:
If that was the case, replacing the songs with voice-samples due to the MIDI format, then why was the Competition menu song replaced? This song could easily be replicated in MIDI, one reason being that there were no voice-samples in the song to begin with.
It can’t be for this reason, then, that the music was replaced.
So, basically, Ice Cap Zone is a remix/rearrangement, not an original song? Honestly, I have to say that I like the original song better than Ice Cap Zone’s version.
I can’t call myself highly educated on the MIDI format, but, for some reason I can’t help but have this feeling from back in the day when I tinkered with it that there was a limitation of tracks that could be used, at least in MIDI 1.0.
So is it possible that the Competition Menu song was too complex for MIDI at the time it was made?
I’m pretty sure it’s not a theory. It’s not just voice samples that couldn’t be used: things like “crashing” sound effects (like you occasionally hear in Carnival Night, etc.) and the like were too complex for computers to generate at the time.
I think people are trying to find an issue where there isn’t one. If the music were replaced because of “licensing issues,” then the new music would have likely also been used in Sonic Jam, Sonic Mega Collection and the like. But it wasn’t. It was only the PC version that had music replaced, which to me seems to say that the PC version had new music because of technical issues, not copyrights.
You. I like you.
Wow, this is amazing!
After listening to this song a few times, the Genesis Ice Cap zone sounds so puny and weak! I can definitely see why MJ would be annoyed with the Genesis sound quality if all his demos sounded like this.
Brad Buxer was the keyboardist to The Jetzons in the 80’s
So Brad Buxer gets paid to compose for Sonic 3, and just ports a 12 year old tune literally wholesale.
Then 15 years later, in 2009 he says “Hey I haven’t even played the game.”
Geez, he wasn’t exactly throwing himself into his work was he? Sonic 3 had brilliant music, the best in the classics in my opinion, but wow… Icecap was just something that he dialed in and didn’t care.
I wonder how slap-dash the rest of Sonic 3’s music composition was.