Music: Moby

"I grew up playing classical music, but I've always loved electronic music, because it always to me sounds like the future."

Moby is an experimental/ambient Electronic Music artist. Known mostly for his touching orchestrations and his ability to take just about any sample imaginable and make an epic techno song out of it - not to mention his strikingly diverse body of work - Moby is one of the most respected artists in his field.

He got his start out in the late 80s and early 90s playing in small clubs. He released his debut effort, a Self-Titled Album, in 1992, and followed it up with another release the next year called Ambient, which was sort of akin to Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 record. Besides the song "Go", which served as his first hit, and the song "Thousand", which holds a Guinness World Record for fastest BPM (take a guess), his first two releases only saw success from the rave crowds. His next release, 1995's Everything Is Wrong, saw his first taste of critical acclaim.

Then, in 1997 he attempted a genre shift that did not work in his favor. The album, titled Animal Rights, is his attempt at tackling the Punk Rock / Alternative Metal (sources argue over the album's actual genre) movements. Critics laughed at his frail-sounding vocals and semi-pretentious lyrics, coupled by overly-long songs and repetitive riffs. The album sold so poorly that it sent Moby into a depressive stupor, drinking heavily every night in a desperate attempt to construct better songs.

This resulted in the release of his breakthrough album, Play in 1999. Though ignored by critics at first (they were still laughing at him for Animal Rights), eventually it received critical acclaim and became the best-selling techno album of all time. Then, just to give him more credit, in 2000 the album became the first album to have every single one of its tracks used in movie and television soundtracks. Between this and him suddenly rubbing shoulders with major celebrities, such as Gwen Stefani, it was a level of visibility previously thought impossible by anyone in the techno world (hell, he was so popular, Eminem infamously dissed him).

After this he released 18, which played around with the Play formula to decent success, before attempting another rock-oriented record in 2005 with Hotel. This time it was less alternative rock and more of a slicker, radio-friendly rock sound, and while not a failure by any means, it received very mixed reviews. Moby, who was personally unsatisfied with how Hotel turned out, decided to step back from the mainstream spotlight. He began by returning to his techno roots with Last Night, and then creating a more mournful, downtempo sound with subsequent records, Wait For Me, Destroyed and Innocents. While more of a cult figure now rather than the major player he once was, he's received plenty of critical success in the years since.

Play has been featured on many "greatest of all time" album lists, and Animal Rights has become little more than a footnote in his discography. His reputation has gained him much respect from fellow musicians in many different genres.


Discography:

  • Moby (1992)
  • Ambient (1993)
  • Everything Is Wrong (1995)
  • Animal Rights (1996)
  • Play (1999)
  • 18 (2002)
  • Hotel (2005)
  • Last Night (2008)
  • Wait for Me (2009)
  • Destroyed (2011)
  • Innocents (2013)
  • Hotel: Ambient (2014)


GO!!!

  • After the End: "South Side"
  • Album Filler: Though most people think otherwise, some of his tracks were literally just thrown in there for nothing more than padding. (Though he has stated that he's written hundreds more songs than have appeared on his albums, but he scraps the ones that aren't any good, so it could be worse.)
  • Ambient: He's shown quite a knack for this style of music, and he's strategically placed tons of ambient pieces all over his discography. He even had an album entitled Ambient, which was ambient techno circa-1993, though this was released by his label without Moby's endorsement.
  • Audience Participation Song: "The Perfect Life"
  • B-Sides: Countless. He's compiled some of his b-sides on a few occasions: Rare: The Collected B-Sides 19891993, Play: The B-Sides and 18: The B-Sides + DVD.note 
  • Bald of Awesome: Hard to believe that there was a time where he had hair.
  • Book Ends: His re-version of the James Bond theme starts and ends with "Bond. James Bond."
  • Bowdlerise: When "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" was released as the lead single from Animal Rights, he changed the titular phrase to "That's When I Realize It's Over" to appease MTV. He also changed the line "Its dead eyes look upon us" to "Instead they look upon us."
  • Concept Album: Last Night is this, of sorts.
    Moby: I essentially tried to take a long 8 hour night out in New York City and condense it into a 65 minute long album.
  • Cover Version: The aforementioned cover of Mission Of Burma's "That's When I Reach For My Revolver." Also, for the encore of his 2003 set at Glastonbury (which can be found on the bonus disc of 18: The B-Sides), he and his band do a cover of Radiohead's "Creep," of all songs.
  • Darker and Edgier: Animal Rights (and we all know how that turned out).
  • Distinct Double Album: The album Hotel by Moby is another classic example. The first disc is mainly rock-oriented songs, all with vocals (except for the intro, coda, and Hidden Track), while the second disc is entirely ambient techno.
  • Epic Rocking: Many of the songs on Animal Rights span past 5 minutes. "Face It" clocks in at almost exactly 10 minutes.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Just listen to an album and you'll hear a variety of different things most techno artists wouldn't dare to touch.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Go: The Very Best Of Moby. It focuses mostly on his early 2000s wave of success. There's also Songs (1993-1998) which is designed for fans who climbed on board after Play became a success.
  • Humble Hero: Considering how much of an icon he is in Electronic Music, Moby may be one of the most humble guys in the business.
  • I Am the Band: When on tour for Animal Rights he pulled this image.
  • Iconic Song Request: "Extreme Ways", his most famous song, especially because it was used in The Bourne Series.
  • Metal Scream: Animal Rights was jam packed with this.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of his stuff ranges from a 2 to a 6, but he's done everything from a 1 to an 11.
  • Mood Whiplash: His albums tend to be almost jarringly diverse. Everything Is Wrong, for example, follows a euphoric rave song ("Bring Back My Happiness") with a seriously over-the-top Heavy Metal song ("What Love").
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Natural Blues"note , "Down Slow", "The Rafters", "Look Back In", "18", "My Weakness", "Machete", "Signs of Love", "Sleep Alone", "Fireworks", "Rushing", "7", "If Things Were Perfect", "Everloving", "Inside", "Guitar Flute & String", "Porcelain", and "Temptation" to name a few.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Novio."
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Animal Rights saw an electronica artist delving into hardcore rock and punk. Understandably, it backfired horribly on him.
  • Rearrange the Song: There's been multiple incarnations of "Go."
  • Sampling: Specializes in it.
  • Self-Titled Album: His debut album in 1993.
  • Shirtless Scene: When the famous "Thousand" is played live, it's usually Moby shirtless, standing on his keyboard, pounding his fists, raising his arms, and staring stoically into the audience. All while a bajillion lights flash on him.
  • Special Guest: Appeared as a judge for a Nerd Anthem challenge in series 3 of King Of The Nerds.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Inside" off of Play.
  • Stage Names: Real name Richard Melville Hall. He gets his stage name from the fact that "supposedly Herman Melville was my great-great-great-granduncle." Herman Melville, of course, wrote Moby-Dick.
    • Has also released music under the name Voodoo Child. His album Baby Monkey was released under this name so he could "concentrate on the music without having to worry about promotion or record sales".
  • Title Only Chorus: "Someone To Love" from Animal Rights.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Animal Rights was made because Moby was fed up of people not understanding his electronic music.