Have you heard the news? Sonic the Hedgehog released 25 years ago!
In celebration of this event (and to cheer myself up as i feel really really old right now) here’s a few of my favorite Sonic tunes in no particular order.
Sonic 2: Chemical Plant Zone
Of course the music to the best Sonic level made (again your unarguably and arbitrarily wrong if you think otherwise) is going to be on this list. The Sega Genesis was known for its ability to create harder edge sounds with its Yamaha YM2612 sound chip, and tunes like Chemical Plant Zone certainly helped make that reputation.
Sonic Adventure: Theme of Tikal
Probably an odd pick for most people reading this considering Open Your Heart is also from Sonic Adventure. But Tikal’s theme easily gets my vote as the best character theme in the aforementioned game. This is chiefly because its uniquely chirpy intro gives way to a very lovely melody, whose exotic instrumentation emphasises and fleshes out the Mesoamerican influences, nostalgia, and slight sense of sadness within the character of Tikal.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a tear jerking piano arrangement.
Sonic Generations: Green Hill Zone (modern)
Felt like changing it up a bit, as Green Hill Zone’s original music is a fine an example of 16 bit audio glory. However considering the lo-fi nature of the midi’s sound, there was certainly room to improve the audio fidelity of the now classic song. It goes without saying that the modern rendition does exactly that, and all while retaining that sense of childhood fun and innocence the original embodies so well.
Sonic Rush: Jeh Jeh Rocket
I don’t have much to say about this other than its another ass shaking tune from Hideki Naganuma (the man who gave us much of the similarly ass shaking music to Jet Set Radio). It’s also the background to my favorite level from the game.
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed: Carrier Zone
This might be a bit of a cheat considering its a remake of an After Burner 2 track, and is off of a Kart Racer (instead of a proper Sonic game). But trust me, give it a listen and you’ll forgive those technicalities in light of this glorious, glorious track.