The initial idea for Music came about because Wright, already a prolific soundtrack writer, remembered having to beg or borrow musical equipment as a teenager. “There was one guy in my local town who had a 4-track tape recorder, and I would, on very rare occasions, be allowed to use it. I couldn’t afford one of my own, and I wondered how many teenagers felt like me, but who did own a PS1.”
Thus, the idea for Music was born – but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Despite hindsight making it appear screamingly obvious, the path to Music took a few turns. “We went through various iterations of product ideas, a kid’s playground with a drum machine made from a merry-go-round and bass on the slide,” recalls Wright. “Then there was talk of a kitchen setting with a stove cooking ‘bass beans’ and so on. Eventually, Morgan said, ‘This is all a bit shit isn’t it?'”
The PS1 had 24 channels of sampled audio with built-in effects and 512 Kilobytes of sound RAM. This would be perfect for creating a kind of Soundtracker-type music sequencer. The boss was reluctant to release a utility product for a games console, but after speaking to Sony themselves, a proper music package was deemed the right way to go. “Sony had decided they wanted to have PS1 as a focal point in the living room, not just in kid’s bedrooms, so our proposal came at a perfect moment in time for them,” confirms Wright.
MUSIC spawned a sequel—Music 2000 / MTV Music Generator—in 1999, MTV Music Generator 2 for the PS2 in 2001, and Pocket Music for the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance in 2002, amongst many other titles.
I had Music 2000 and I loved the ability to make songs on my PlayStation. It was also my introduction to music production, without realising that that would become an integral part of my life later in life (I have a degree in Music Technology). So thanks for the inadvertent intro, Tim!