A fun element of the modern/3D Sonic the Hedgehog video games is that most of them have fantastic songs written and performed by the rock band Crush40. Many of these songs are used as theme songs for certain games, while others are played during boss fights or the end credits. A lot of these tunes are so catchy that they’re worth listening to outside of the games. It’s very likely that many Sonic fans have some of them on their go-to playlists. Let’s take a look at the ten best songs Crush40 has done for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series.
10) Never Turn Back (from Shadow the Hedgehog)
Singer Johnny Gioeli unleashes his inner Bon Jovi with this one. Seriously, he weirdly sounds like bon Jovi on this track, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If someone were to say this was from a major rock band from the 80s or 90s, it would be believable. What holds it back, however, is the boring piano riff in the opening that doesn’t match the tone of the song whatsoever. Also, the gratuitous “whoas” and “yeahs” can get pretty annoying. The lyrics discuss Shadow’s personal journey and how far he’s come since the events of Sonic Adventure 2. It’s a solid song about character development, which is perfect for an end credits sequence.
9) Fight the Knight (from Sonic and the Black Knight)
This is the song that plays when facing off against the Black Knight as a boss. The lyrics are a little dumb as they’re literally just about fighting a knight, but it works for epic battle music. The chanting in the beginning doesn’t do much to pull in listeners, but it sounds incredible once the guitar picks up. When this song plays while you’re taking on this big bad, it feels like you’re actually taking part in the combat.
8) Knight of the Wind (from Sonic and the Black Knight)
This one is pretty similar to “Fight the Knight, but corrects some of its mistakes. There’s no weird chanting in the beginning. Plus, the lyrics are still simple, but they’re more about being a knight in general rather than a song about a single fight with a knight. It serves as the main theme song for Sonic and the Black Knight, and for good reason. It gives the player a sense of what kind of game they’re in for. This song makes listeners think of epic battles and grand adventures, which is what a King Arthur type of story typically offers.
7) Green Light Ride (from Team Sonic Racing)
At the time this article is being written, “Green Light Ride” is Crush40’s latest Sonic the Hedgehog tune, and it sounds great. It’s the main theme song of Team Sonic Racing, and it fits perfectly. The song’s opening is a bit slower, like racers getting ready at the starting line. Then it picks up and is a rather fast-paced song, which makes sense for a racing game. The lyrics are also about racing together as a team. The fact that the song tells you what the game is about makes it work well as its theme song. A song about racing as a team may be a bit corny, but it’s catchy enough that it’s worth listening to on its own. That being said, it’s hard to put a finger on, but it sounds like less heart was put into this one compared to some of Crush40’s earlier hits.
6) Through the Fire (from Sonic and the Black Knight)
This one is pretty short and a bit repetitive, but it still manages to be incredibly fun. This plays when fighting against Sir Gawain, Sir Percival, and Sir Lancelot, and it sounds appropriate for any fight sequence. This sounds like music that would play during an anime battle. It’s also reminiscent of some of the songs made for the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series. The lyrics are a little generic, but are about fighting and winning a battle. What else would they be about?
5) Sonic Heroes (from Sonic Heroes)
“Sonic Heroes” is the aptly named theme song of the game Sonic Heroes. This is easily one of the catchiest songs in Crush40’s library and has some of the most interesting lyrics. The lyrics are ultimately about being a hero, but they convey that through clever diction. There are also lines about working together as a team, which matches the game in which there are four playable teams, each of which are composed of three characters. Most of Crush40’s other songs from around this era of Sonic the Hedgehog games were darker and edgier. This one is much brighter and more upbeat in tone, which makes it stand out. The only reason why this song isn’t ranked higher is because the chorus is just repeating the name of the game a bunch of times.
4) Open Your Heart (from Sonic Adventure)
This was the first song Crush40 had ever done for a Sonic the Hedgehog game, and the first time vocalist Johnny Gioeli performed with the band, making it truly iconic. Sonic Adventure was the first 3D Sonic game to be story-heavy and served as an entry point for a large portion of the fanbase. With “Open Your Heart” being the game’s theme song, it feels like a musical representation of what got a lot of people to jump on the Sonic hype train. It also plays during the final boss fight against Perfect Chaos, and it makes the battle feel even more epic. The song’s tone and lyrics are darker than what we’ve seen of the Sonic franchise prior to this, which is perfect for intriguing those looking for a newer gameplay experience out of the series. It’s also worth noting that none of the lyrics feel too repetitive in this one, which makes it stand above many of the others on this list.
3) Live and Learn (from Sonic Adventure 2)
“Live and Learn” is easily the most recognizable song Crush40 has done for the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It’s used as the theme song of Sonic Adventure 2 and during the final boss fight when Super Sonic and Super Shadow team up to take on Finalhazard. The opening guitar riff playing as Sonic and Shadow power up is probably one of the most iconic cutscenes in any Sonic game. The song has since been used when the characters power up to their super forms, making it essentially the theme of Super Sonic. The sound, the tone, the lyrics, and the melody make this an incredibly fun song to listen to.
2) What I’m Made of (from Sonic Heroes)
This song is probably the most underrated on the list. It may not serve as the theme song of Sonic Heroes, but it captures the game’s themes perfectly. The lyrics are mostly about how working together as a team can help to overcome any obstacle. In a game that focuses on teams of characters playable at a given time, this works extremely well. This song plays when Super Sonic teams up with all of his friends to take on the diabolical Metal Overlord. This song is perfect for getting pumped up to take on a giant evil robot, and is easily one of the most fun tracks Crush40 has ever put out.
1) I Am… All of Me (from Shadow the Hedgehog)
What is truly Crush40’s greatest song is “I Am… All of Me,” which is the theme song of the Shadow the Hedgehog video game. Not only does it absolutely rock the hardest and is extremely fun to listen to, but it’s much more meaningful to its respective games compared to some other songs they’ve done. This tune perfectly covers Shadow’s inner conflict and how he’s pulled to both the dark and the light. It’s the darkest and edgiest song Crush40 has done for a Sonic game. It’s not something anyone would expect from a game series with colorful talking animals, but they make it work. This song plays during an amazing opening cinematic as well as the true final boss, Devil Doom. This song has everything going for it, and even listening to it now sounds just as awesome as it did over a decade ago.