Like most people in life, I listened to a lot of questionable music when I was younger. But my weird musical tastes don't hold a candle to the stuff Sonic the Hedgehog was listening to in the '90s.
This story has been republished to coincide with the release of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie this week.
Before you get upset, let's get something straight — I'm not talking about the music in Sonic games. I'm talking about Sonic Dance Power, a series of eight CD comps published in the Netherlands at the height of Sonic's popularity.
If you did not experience the post-cassette/pre-MP3 era of bad CD compilations, know that it yielded a lot of awful garbage. You can get a hint of how bad the business was by watching things like the Pure Moods commercial (disclosure: I have a soft spot for Pure Moods), but Sonic Dance Power Vol. I-VIII really exemplifies how weird this stuff could get.
The only connection to Sonic is that the covers are adorned with art of Sonic chillin' to the max, implying that Sonic not only endorses this music, but listens to it while hanging with all his bros. It's a combination of the occasional b-side from a solid artist (Backstreet Boys, Aaliyah, Coolio, Livin' Joy) accompanied by some of the most cloyiing one-hit eurodance wonders to grace god's earth.
Also, some of the music is incredibly explicit.
Even by Sonic ephemera standards, the comps are weird. Imagine Sonic and Tails, hangin' on the beach eating chilli dogs while blasting Tokyo Ghetto Pussy or Free Gay And Happy by The Coming Out Crew. Envision the nefarious Dr Eggman plotting the specifics of world domination to the oral sex anthem Lick It by 20 Fingers (an artist you may remember from the hit song "Short Dick Man"). Just think of Knuckles at the gym bobbing his head to the chorus of Useless Man by Minty which explicitly mentions fist-fucking along with a slew of other unmentionable kink acts.
God help me, I listened to every single track in the Sonic Dance Power series to sort the treasure from the trash. Below are the most interesting tracks the Sonic Dance Power series has to offer.
Coming Out Crew - Free, Gay And Happy - Sonic Dance Power Vol. I
20 Fingers ft. Roula - Lick it - Sonic Dance Power Vol. II
Dance 2 Trance - Warrior - Sonic Dance Power Vol. III
Technohead - I Want To Be A Hippy - Sonic Dance Power Vol. III
Minty - Useless Man - Sonic Dance Power Vol. III
Sway - Yum Yum Gimmie Some - Sonic Dance Power Vol. IV
Harajuku - Colours of the Wind - Sonic Dance Power Vol. V
Party Animals - Hava Naquila - Sonic Dance Power Vol. VI
At this point it's worth wondering if these comps are really elaborate bootlegs or if SEGA actually signed off on this. While I'm not exactly sure, the back liner notes seem to imply that these had SEGA's blessing. Sonic Dance Power Volume VIII apparently came with a playable demo of Sonic & Knuckles Collection for the PC.
Here's the track listing of the whole collection. Feel free to point out out the weirdest track you can find in the comments.