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

Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), better known as 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, due to frustration from the masses not understanding his electronic music, he attempted a Genre Shift that did not work in his favor. The album, titled Animal Rights, was 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. (In the album's defense, it has been getting warmer reception over the years, and at the time of its release reportedly garnered praise from Terence Trent D'arby, Axl Rose, and Bono.)

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.


  • Moby (1992)
  • Early Underground (1993) - compilation album
  • Ambient (1993)
  • Move - The E.P. (1993)
  • Everything Is Wrong (1995)
    • Underwater (1995) - limited-edition bonus disc of ambient music
  • Animal Rights (1996)
  • I Like to Score (1997) - compilation of music Moby has made for films
  • Play (1999)
  • MobySongs 1993-1998 (2000) - Greatest Hits Album of music from Moby's early career
  • 18 (2002)
  • Hotel (2005)
    • Hotel: Ambient (2014) - second disc of Hotel; was released with initial copies of original album, but got a standalone reissue in 2014 with several new tracks
  • Go - The Very Best of Moby (2006) - updated Greatest Hits Album; contains one disc of hit songs and a second disc of remixes
  • Last Night (2008)
  • Wait for Me (2009)
    • Wait for Me: Ambient (2009) - complete rearrangement of the whole album in a more ambient manner
  • Destroyed (2011)
    • Destroyed Remixed (2012) - limited-edition 2-disc collection of remixes
  • Innocents (2013)
  • Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. (2016)
  • These Systems are Failing (2016) - Moby & the Void Pacific Choir
  • More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse (2017) - Moby & the Void Pacific Choir


  • As the Good Book Says...: The title of "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters" was inspired by Genesis 1:2.
    "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."
  • 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, sometimes in full albums such as Hotel: Ambient (the second disc of Hotel) and Wait for Me: Ambient (a complete rearrangement of the entire album to be more ambient), as well as the more recent Long Ambients 1.
    • 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-Side: Countless. He's compiled some of his b-sides on a few occasions: Rare: The Collected B-Sides 1989–1993, 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, wherein he dropped his electronic music sound for a heavy and angry sound inspired by the Hardcore Punk and Metal records he enjoyed from his youth.
  • 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.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Everything Is Wrong ends with the horribly desolate "When It's Cold I'd Like To Die", which encompasses the feeling of purely giving up after struggling with emotional problems.
    • Play ends with the beautiful but saddening "My Weakness", which is centered around an unintelligible vocal sample but just bleeds emotion nonetheless, with angelic orchestrations sweeping over it all.
  • Dying Dream: Implied with "When It's Cold I Like To Die."
  • Epic Rocking: He loves this trope.
    • Many of the songs on Animal Rights span past 5 minutes. "Face It" clocks in at almost exactly 10 minutes.
    • Destroyed Remixed contains a 30-minute ambient song from Moby.
    • Long Ambients 1 has eleven tracks that all range from 20 to 30 minutes in length. The album as a whole is just over four hours long.
  • 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.
  • Genre Roulette: His discography is possibly one of the most eclectic out of a musician in the past few decades. He has ambient music, rock, electronica, techno, and trip hop all under his belt, and you better believe he experiments with these a lot on his albums.
  • Greatest Hits Album: He has two: Songs (1993-1998), which is designed for fans who climbed on board after Play became a success, and Go: The Very Best Of Moby, which focuses mostly on his wave of success in the early 2000s.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: The main purpose of "We Are All Made of Stars", which was written in New York after 9/11 deliberately for this effect.
  • 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.
  • Loudness War: These Systems are Failing is a rare album that's compressed so heavily that it clocks in at DR3. DR6 tends to be the average for heavily compressed modern records.
  • 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.
  • Refrain from Assuming: That song from Play that repeats the word "sometimes" over 75 times? It's called "Honey".
  • 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".
  • Three Chords and the Truth: "Beautiful," which is almost childishly simple to evoke the image of two self-indulgent people perpetually complimenting one another.
  • Updated Re-release: Hotel: Ambient (the second disc of Hotel) received this in 2014, with Moby reportedly realizing that there was no way to get the second disc by itself when a fan stopped him and asked him about it.
  • 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. Ironically, just as he decided to shift his direction, his electronic music started getting recognition.