The aforementioned commemorative Sonic 1 & 2 soundtrack has finally come out, and much like all of Sega's audio releases as of late, it's simply incredible.

Back in June, I wondered what the advertised "demotapes" would be exactly, with my theory being that it was music from said games, but in their initial form, via instruments that composer Masato Nakamura was more comfortable with. And guess what? That's exactly the case.

Alongside audio from the final product, perhaps the highest quality recording you'll find anywhere (unless your audio rips are from an early, original model Genesis, before Sega began gimping the hardware), is the original take on each track, created on an Atari ST. Which would be later re-done, note for note, on Sega's console.

YouTube user Soniman032 has uploaded every demo track; each is an absolute must listen for any Sega audiophile. They add extra life and context to the material we're all so familiar with. Even the most loyal fan of the Genesis sound chip might find him or herself preferring certain Atari ST versions all of a sudden (like myself).

But Sonic 2's original music is perhaps the most noteworthy. Most songs are half a beat or slightly more slower than what we're used to, which is slightly jarring in certain cases. Which then begs the question: why?

Well, first take a listen to Nakamura's original idea for Casino Night Zone, and then the same track from the Sonic 2 beta. As you'll hear, they a perfect match, tempo-wise! So perhaps that was the plan all along?