Here we have my greatest challenge to date: the Sonic Fan Medley.
As with NES Medley #2 and the Mega Man Mega Medley, we had another fun contest where the songs would be chosen by fans by getting them to submit songs and having 10 chosen at random. The difference this time: I went to Twitter AND Youtube along with a little announcement trailer. This resulted in about 5 times more submissions than usual (with alot being repeat votes). The entire submission pool seemed to have a pretty even balance of Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic songs. so I was hopeful for a good balance of the two for the medley.
Didn't happen! Here's the list we ended up with (in order of appearance):
1. On the Edge (Eternal Engine) 0:00
2. Terminal Velocity Act 2 1:41
3. Super Sonic Racing 2:32
4. Intro Theme (Sonic Colours) 3:55
5. Credits (Sonic Rush Adventure) 5:14
6. Spring Yard Zone 6:08
7. City Escape 6:50
8. Supporting Me (Biolizard) 7:58
9. Chaos Angel Act 1 9:39
10. Never Turn Back 11:46
The randompicker ended up choosing 9 Modern Sonic songs, and 1 Classic Sonic song (Spring Yard Zone).
Awkward! To make things even more difficult, I was only familiar with, at best, 3 of the songs (SYZ, City Escape slightly, and Super Sonic Racing). I dIdn't even know Sonic Rush Adventure was a game.... cause I'm old I guess.
After my intial feelings of 'This is going to be weird' faded, I immediately listened to each song again (I usually listen to every song that's submitted to prepare myself before the drawing), and was hit with another realization: nearly half of these songs had vocals. "The time has come" I thought to myself.
To touch on this briefly: I've actually been singing in bands for years. The last band I was in before I went full-GaMetal I was solely a lead singer. So it's nothing I'm shy to or unfamiliar with, though honestly I didn't feel very comfortable with it till about a couple of years ago.
With all these challenges ahead, I focused mainly on a few things: The entire medley has to kick complete ass or it will flop, and I must treat every song as if each one is it's own GaMetal cover, but still maintain the feeling of being a part of a medley. With this philosophy in mind, the medley ended up being a whopping 14 minutes 21 seconds, making it the 2nd longest GaMetal song behind Legend of the Seven Stars.
Next came the song-order phase. I did my normal routine of getting an approximate tempo, concluding that hardly any of the songs had a similar tempo and the entire medley was gonna suck and people would hate me. Moving on, the best group I had was On The Edge, Terminal Velocity Act 2, and Super Sonic Racing. The next best group was the Colours Intro, SRA Credits and Spring Yard Zone (sort of, those 2 are approximately half the speed of the Colours Intro). After that everything is different. I then got hit with an idea to have the entire medley have a speeding up effect, ramping up in tempo with each song (or group of songs), with a slowdown in the middle (SRA Credits was the perfect candidate for this), then speeding it back up again.
I'll go over each song individually:
On The Edge (Eternal Engine) - This was one of my favorite songs from the medley and the most fun to play. I wanted the opener to be explosive and powerful and thought this would be the best song for the job. The original has an old-school Metallica feel to it, and I love the Randy Rhoads style rhythm line in the synth lead section.
Terminal Velocity Act 2 - The original version of this is pretty short, it's basically just a section from Act 1. I decided to just play it twice with a slightly altered lead line the 2nd go-around.
Super Sonic Racing - Originally, I was going to do the vocal line on guitar. I was having a discussion with a friend (Captain Violence from TheGoodShipGWP) when we came to the conclusion that it was a requirement that Super Sonic Racing had vocals, or else it wouldn't be Super Sonic Racing. Edobean's name came up (she previously sang in her version of my Zero-Two cover), and I thought it was a cool idea, so I shot her a message and she came through. Without her, I feel this part of the medley would've been irrelevent. Thanks Edobean! (Visit her Youtube Channel sometime!)
Sonic Colours Intro - This is the only song that originally has vocals that I chose not to do vocals. Instead I played the vocal line on guitar. I like the vocal line in the original, but I didn't want my vocal debut to come too early in the medley. I also liked the way the vocal line sounded on guitar. I used the neck pickup with only slight vibrato to sort of mimmick the vocal autotune in the original.
Sonic Rush Adventure Credits - The Colours Intro, in the original, breaks down and gets slow at the end, and this song starts off slow, so I felt the 2 flowed together really well.
Spring Yard Zone - It was brought to my attention by several people that this was the only Classic Sonic song in the medley and it would sound out of place. The first thought I had was to open with this song, but I didn't want to speed it up because I love the groove/funky feel of the original (and most Classic Sonic songs) and didn't want to stray away from that too much, not to mention it's just not medley opening material. So I approached it as if I was doing a GaMetal version of a Modern Sonic version of a Classic Sonic song. Get it? Of course you do!
City Escape - I wasn't going to do vocals in this one. I wouldn't call it a last minute addition, but it wasn't till later in the song creation process that I decided to give it a try. I did a few takes and ended up with something I liked and rolled the dice. Keepin it real though: 'Wooooo!'s are not my thing, so I let the guitar handle that part!
Supporting Me - I kept telling myself the entire time I was doing this medley 'If Biolizard isn't good, the whole medley will fail'. I really like this song, especially the Generations version where the vocals are clearer. This was the hardest song in the medley to arrange: I was going for a fusion of Metal and the Techno sound. I probably spent the most time on this one. This is another one I was originally not going to do vocals in, but I liked the original vocals too much to not give them a try, and since by this time I had decided I was going to do the vocals in City Escape, I decided 'Why not?'. I just hope my 'Evil Guy Talking' voice is good enough!
Chaos Angel (Act 1) - I knew right off the bat this song was going to be hard as hell. I knew of it's insanity the first time I heard it, when the song was submitted. When it popped up in the 10 chosen songs, it was the only one that made me say 'Oh hell'. Because of it's crazyness, I knew this song would be a great psuedo-closer. Psuedo because not a lot of people have played Sonic Advance 3, but the song is really great. The original also has that problem where it's hard to hear exactly what the background instruments are playing (seems to happen a lot on GBA, DS, and N64 stuff), so it's open to a lot of interpretation. I gave it my best shot and I think it's one of the best sounding parts of the medley.
Never Turn Back - This is the only song I originally intended to do vocals in: I wanted it to be an ending surprise. The original version is very vocal-heavy, and I thought it sounded boring on my first playthrough when I played the vocal lines on Guitar, so I decided this would be my vocal debut. Obviously that didn't happen, but this still ended up being the effective closer I thought it would. During the song-ordering phase, I couldn't find a place for this one to go where it wouldn't of sounded awkward/out of place, then I realized it'd be a good one to end with, which coincidentally is also reflected by the song's title and lyrics (Here I am, I made it to the end of you!) Also to sound mushy for a second, I relate to the lyrics in this song a lot. I'll let you figure that one out. (PS: No matter how hard and how many times I tried to do the 'Woo-oo-wah-oo, woo-oo-yeah!' parts, I sounded really stupid, so I just did it on guitar, where I'd like to think I don't sound as stupid.)
Lastly, I pushed myself to mix this song better than I've mixed any other song, and I think I managed to do that. I changed a lot of things, and I think it sounds a bit more crisp to me than recent songs, I'm very happy with it.
That's just about all I can say about this one. Although the song list may have initially came off as strange, the fans managed to pull through with a group of great songs. Enjoy!
TL;DR Here's the Sonic Fan Medley with songs chosen by fans. It was pretty challenging to put together, and also has my GaMetal vocal debut. Enjoy!