So Sonic the Hedgehog has had some amazing music over the years. I've been pretty lax on deviantART lately, so this seems like a good way to get re-involved. This will be a list of my top 90 favourite pieces of music from the Sonic the hedgehog series.
Some of my older and more avid followers may remember my 30 day song challenge. This is a far more ambitious 90 DAY SONG CHALLENEGE that will hopefully come to a close on Christmas Eve (if I have made my calculations correctly), during which I will post one tune a day.
Yes, there may be duplicates since a lot of music was remixed for Sonic Generations. And yes, my opinions may have changed slightly since the 30 day song challenge. And yes, there will be a complete absence of music from Sonic R. And yes, of course there will be plenty of Crush 40!! And yes, I really should stop procrastinating and let the list begin...
NOTABLE DATES ON THE WAY
26/10 - Clocks go back 1 hour in the UK - PASSED!
31/10 - Halloween
5/11 - Bonfire night
11/11 - Remembrance Day
27/11 - Okay Americans, I'll put Thanksgiving on the list
30/11 - First Sunday of Advent
6/12 - St Nicholas Day
7/12 - 2nd Sunday of Advent
14/12 - 3rd Sunday of Advent
21/12 - 4th Sunday of Advent
24/12 - Christmas Eve
25/12 - CHRISTMAS DAY!!
COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: THE BEST 90 TUNES FROM THE SONIC THE HEDGEHOG SERIES
90. Angel Island Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles
Act 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC-d-A…
Act 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GWv8J…
In my opinion no tune sounds so competently made, and with such a variety of instruments, in 16-bit than this song. Pleasing to ears and unflappably jolly despite the fact that the place is on fire, it's no wonder this tune was remixed for Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
In the standalone games it appears in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (as opposed to Sonic and Knuckles).
89. Bridge Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear)
A cheerful yet simple tune, if somewhat repetitive. Nonetheless, this happy little 8 bit number should take any Sonic fan back to the hedgehog's earliest, and arguably best, days.
88. Green Hill Act 2 (Fast) - Sonic Generations
The Green Hill music is classic, and this remix - only heard when boosting with modern Sonic - summarises Sonic perfectly: iconic status, coupled with speed, adventure and happiness. It is a pity that the music is always distorted in game by Sonic's boost noise. However, this tune still manages to set you up for a great start to one of Sonic's best games.
87. Sonic 3D Blast (Saturn) theme remix - Sonic Generations
One of the things I love about Sonic Generations is the fact that so many games get a reference, even if they don't have a reimagined level. This is the game's reference to Sonic 3D Blast and somehow manages to be nostalgic to me despite the fact that I have never played the Saturn version of the game! The tune is relaxing and playing missions to this music makes a nice change from frantic tunes that get your heart pumping. Genuinely a tune I like listening to while doing other things.
86. Rooftop Run Day - Sonic Unleashed
Who doesn't like this tune? Another typical Sonic tune in that it manages to capture speed and adventure simultaneously. This is wonderful bankground music to what, at the time, was some of modern Sonic's greatest moments for several years. So why isn't it higher than this? The guitar and stringed instruments I find almost 'whiny'. Something a little softer is needed...
85. Sonic Boom - Sonic CD
Opening/main version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLBLB4…
Ending version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbyWwy…
This song is a milestone, being the joint first song with lyrics to appear in a Sonic game (and this list!) along with Sonic - You Can Do Anything from the Japanese soundtrack of the same game. I really enjoy the breakdown after the second rendition of the chorus, and I like the way the opening version is fast paced to give you an adrenaline rush prior to playing, while the slower ending version better suits your epic/proud/relieved mood when completing the game. Well worthy of a Crush 40 cover!
Performed by Pastiche
84. Emerald Beach remix - Sonic Generations
Originally from Sonic Battle, this jolly number is played during side missions. It's fun, exciting and more pleasing to the ears than the version played on GBA.
83. Sonic Heroes - Sonic Heroes
A happy pop rock song that marks the first appearance of Crush 40 on this list. The link takes you to the full version of the song that I don't think appears in the game. A fun, enjoyable, light-hearted song that certainly suits the game it's from. Spoiler: yet it isn't Crush 40's best work in my opinion.
Performed by Crush 40.
82. Marble Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
So many people turn off Sonic 1 at this stage because of the change from fast-paced Green Hill Zone to slower and more platform-heavy Marble Zone. I can't understand why because the level isn't bad (it's certainly not Labyrinth Zone!) and more importantly the music is awesome! You may find it hard not to hum along while playing this level.
81. Chemical Plant Act 2 - Sonic Generations
I like the Chemical Plant theme and this is a cool rocky version that has synths that makes it still sound kind of retro, exactly what the level is supposed to be, thus it really fits with the level. This is just a good tune.
80. Sea Gate - Sonic Heroes
A year or two ago this would have been higher on my list but I still like it. It's like Seaside Hill but more relaxing, and therefore superior. Still reminds me of Seaside Denied though. It always seems a bit like a hidden gem because anyone who owns Sonic Heroes only ever plays this level once and while they do it instead of listening to the music they are yelling at Omochao to shut up. So I hope I've brought this tune to the attention of more people!
79. His World (Zebrahead Version) - Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
I like the combination of pop-rock and rap-type vocals. It's just a tune. That's all I have to say really.
Performed by Zebrahead.
78. Rooftop Run Act 1 - Sonic Generations
The first double song on the list! So what makes it better than the original Sonic Unleashed version? It is less whiny, more varied and had a cool breakdown where the music speeds up. The alternation between modern and classic sounding instruments - particularly the drums - really fits in with what the level is about: classic Sonic done in a modern way, leaving the tune feeling nostalgic whilst retaining it's own identity. Definite ringtone material.
77. Ice Cap Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles
Act 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYxlqT…
Act 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtQtbW…
Whether Michael Jackson was involved in writing this tune or not remains primarily a mystery. What we do know is that this calming, icy tune really fits the level and is an absolute fan favourite. If anything I slightly prefer Act 2. Like most Sonic fans I really like this tune. But why is it not higher oin the list? I find it repetitive, and also whiny in the same way I found Rooftop Run from Sonic Unleashed to be (does anyone actually understand what I mean by that?!)
Appears in the standalone game Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
76. Star Light Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Calming and relaxing, this makes a nice change from the irritating Labyrinth zone. Truly a classic tune from Sonic's earliest days.
75. With Me (Massive Power Mix) - Sonic and the Black Knight
Strictly speaking this version is not from the game, but the original is and this is still a Sonic song! Heavier than normal for Crush 40 this is a really head-banging, awesome song. And of course it has a Jun Senoue guitar solo - what's not to like?
Performed by Crush 40.
74. Downtown Race - Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Appearing only on the Battle version, this is a fast paced, exciting tune. It is in the 2P City Escape level and uses exactly the same drum track, as well as similar guitar melody. City Escape takes it's first bow on this list!
73. Radical Highway - Sonic Adventure 2
This badass tune is a great introduction to playing as Shadow. A lot darker and heavier than most Sonic music, it is still well written and remains a great tune to listen to! I also like the way the music 'leaps' around your ears, particularly at the beginning and end.
72. Tropical Resort - Sonic Colours
Act 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7yMpY…
Act 3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzCvE5…
Yes, I spelt 'colours' with a 'u'. I'm English, that's how we spell it, we invented the language and therefore that's how it's supposed to be spelt. So there. Joking aside, this is a really upbeat tune that has a really nice mix of electro instruments and guitar. The problem with Sonic Coloursis that each act has a subtly different remix to the previous act. I'm allowing myself to put two acts worth of music under the same heading for instances like these (excluding in Sonic Generations) and decided on the bouncy, electronic Act 3 and more 'modern' Act 2. But Act 1 came mighty close! I think I prefer the guitar riff in the act 2 verse, but the Act 1 opening is better - go look for it!
71. "Windy Hill" for Windy Valley - Sonic Adventure
This piece is played during the first part of Sonic's Windy Valley level, and in E-102 Gamma's level as well. I like it because it is calm and enjoyable. It is different to most other Sonic Adventure music, ironically then making it similar as Sonic Adventure has some of the greatest variety of music compared to most Sonic games.
70. Splash Hill Act 1 - Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
Take a bow the Dying Duck Orchestra. I actually do like this tune quite a bit, even if the attempt to make it sound like a classic Sonic game backfired horrifically and failed in it's original quest. But the melody is thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately the game's music gets worse from here on in, which is very irritating considering this is the very first level and Sonic games are known for their normally great music. Aside from a couple of exceptions, in both episodes of Sonic 4 there are a few tunes I think are okay, some I ignore and several that I found downright annoying to listen to. If you like the melody my suggestion would be to find a remix.
69. Believe in Myself - Sonic Adventure 2
As a Tails fan I have to like his theme. This song flows more nicely than it's original Sonic Adventure counterpart, which won't be making an appearance on this list. It's a happy tune, and is easy to play on both drums and rhythm guitar - on guitar I managed to successfully work out the power chords, though the strings have to be retuned E->B, B->G, etc. A good tune nonetheless.
Performed by Kaz Silver
68. Metropolis Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Another Mega Drive tune that sounds so competently made. Three acts of this is glorious! And I don't care what anyone says about the level, it's really fun even if it ios challenging and they have the irritating praying mantis things, the starfish and the fabled manly crabs. Yeah, every enemy seems to want to throw it's arms at you.
67. Free (Crush 40 version) - Sonic Free Riders
Like With Me (Massive Power Mix) this is a Crush 40 cover that technically isn't in the game. But oh well! It took me a while to grow into this song. But Crush 40 have a knack for making songs better!
Performed by Crush 40.
66. Ending music - Sonic the Hedgehog 2
I think this is a beautiful piece, and gives you a real sense of achievement after beating the game. It is also infinitely better than the remix for Sonic 2006.
65. Un-gravitify (Crush 40 version) - Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
If you haven't worked it out already, I am a massive fan of Crush 40 and often prefer their covers to the original tune, as is the case here. Like Free I had to grow into this one, but it has many great parts. I like it a lot.
Performed by Crush 40
64. Blue Coast Act 3 - Sonic Rivals 2
By this point it had been a little while since a great new Jun Senoue guitar riff had been blasted out in a Sonic game, so this brief cameo was more than welcome. Good work Mr Senoue!
63. Sonic Boom (cover version) - Sonic CD
Another remix with Crush 40! Why is better than the original? It's heavier, been Crush 40-ed with a hint of the techno stuff leaving the Cash Cash stamp, and Johnny Gioeli's voice is too awesome. Again, strictly speaking this is not from the game Sonic CD, but is a cover of a track that was on the game.
Performed by Crush 40 and Cash Cash
62. Gotta Go Fast - Sonic X
Here, have a video with a cool hedgehog that runs. Yes, I actually quite like this song. For anyone who doesn't know, this is the theme of cartoon Sonic X in North America. It is very kiddy, but also very nostalgic and for that reason I like it. The tune is also doesn't suck, which is always a plus.
Performed by Norman J. Grossfeld, Joseph Garrity and Russell Velázquez
61. Solaris Phase 2 - Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Essentially an instrumental of the game's main theme His World, this is regarded by many as one of the greatest video game tunes ever. For all the criticism the game received, the music obtained almost universal praise and this tune was at the forefront. Few tunes give such an awesome sense of epicness, and while it kept the trend of final bosses in super mode having awesome music, it also started a different - and awesome - trend of orchestrating the main theme for the final boss. Many may ask why this is not higher on the list. My reply would be that I can think of 60 Sonic-related tunes that are better than this. So if this song is awesome, how great are the rest?!
60. Egg Emperor - Sonic Heroes
Beautiful! It gets you so pumped for the final fight of the story. And those drums - the way the ride cymbal is hit off beat! This is a glorious and underrated tune.
59. All Hail Shadow (Crush 40 Version) - Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
I love the intro and the "bow your head low, all hail Shadow' bit as well. The entire song is pretty awesome. It is a rocky tune that I used to vacuum to. So for those who are unaware, the original version was done by Magna-Fi for the game Shadow the Hedgehog, then Crush 40 did a cover for the next console game to act as Shadow's theme for the game. Great song!
Performed by Crush 40
58. Boss theme - Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Epic, but not too epic to overshadow the final boss. So catchy as well!
57. Grand Metropolis - Sonic Heroes
Really calming, catchy and suits the level. I love the variety of sounds all played at once. Another Jun Senoue classic. And of course it's reputation is further enhanced by Metropolis Mayhem.
56. His World - Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Another fan favourite, this is a fantastic tune with 'epic violins'. This song definitely took Sonic music in a different direction - while incorporating some of the 'happy pop rock' elements that had been present in previous games, there is also rap elements and use of classical music. The fantastic thing is that while the music in this game was less similar to previous Sonic soundtracks, the level of quality in the music remained at least as high.
Performed by Ali Tabatabaee and Matty Lewis (both of Zebrahead) and SEGA