By now, the involvement of Michael Jackson with the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is fairly common knowledge. The King of Pop and his team was brought in to compose the music for the game, but he ended up leaving the project before completion. There are various accounts of how much of the soundtrack was actually composed by Michael Jackson, but his influence is certainly heard in several tracks. While all of this is rather fascinating, the music from the Sonic series has featured work from an accomplished pop artist since the very beginning.
Dreams Come True bassist Masato Nakamura was contacted by Sega to compose music for Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel. The composer was given quite a bit of freedom when it came to writing the music for each game, which contributed to the catchy rhythms and pop melodies throughout. Take the theme for the Mystic Cave Zone for example:
Instead of simply using the ghostly tones of a theremin and bells to inspire a haunting mood, this track features a rolling bass melody and strong percussion to match the action on-screen. What results is a great spooky pop track that would be welcome at a Halloween dance party, yet still suits a mysterious underground stage in a video game.