Moby

Biography

Members: Richard Melville Hall

Active: 1991-present

HISTORY

Moby (born Richard Melville Hall on September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York, and raised in Darien, Connecticut) is an American electronic musician and the name of his live band.

Moby is best known for singles like "Go", "Porcelain", "South Side" with Gwen Stefani, "We Are All Made of Stars" and "Lift Me Up". He has also released music under the names Voodoo Child, Barracuda, UHF, The Brotherhood, DJ Cake, Lopez, and Brainstorm/Mindstorm.

Moby plays keyboard, guitar, and bass guitar. He took his performing name from the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, who was his great-great-granduncle.

EARLY YEARS

Moby used to be in a punk band called the Vatican Commandos, which was formed in 1980, but abandoned punk in 1989 for electronic music. He realized his music tastes and growth were going in opposite directions of his previous bands.

His first album "The Story So Far (aka Moby)" featured the single "Go", which gained popularity in many discos, and earned a spot on the UK charts. The song is so popular that Moby still plays "Go" regularly in his sets. "Go" is a progressive track using the string line from "Laura Palmer's Theme" from the TV drama Twin Peaks. In 1993 he released a B-sides album named 'Rare: The Collected B-Sides 1989-1993'. One song on this album, Thousands, earned him a world record for the fastest song ever. It reached, appropriately, 1000 BPM.

1994-1998

His first album for Elektra Records was Everything Is Wrong, which earned early critical praise and minor commercial success. He followed that up with a hard rock/electronic album called Animal Rights in 1996. In 1997, he released I Like to Score, a collection of music included in movies. Among those tracks was an updated version of the James Bond theme used for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. However, both Animal Rights and I Like to Score were commercially unsuccessful and Moby and Elektra parted company.

1999-2004

After a decade's worth of music, Moby's breakthrough album was 1999's Play. Mainstream reviewers raved about his talents on the album (released on V2 Records) though some early fans were let down. The album has 18 tracks and was the first album in history to have all of its tracks commercially licensed: "Porcelain," for instance, appeared on TV commercials for Bailey's Irish Cream, Hong Kong's PCCW and Nordstrom, and Volkswagen's MKIV Jetta, and serves as TVE 1's ident music in Spain; "Find My Baby" was on a commercial for American Express featuring golfer Tiger Woods. The album's tracks eventually were accepted in various radio formats, but because of Play's extensive licensing, the album could have been financially successful even without radio play. In addition to fame garnered through its licensing, Play is also notable for its extensive sampling of old blues recordings collected by Alan Lomax. In a 2005 posting on his web site, Moby theorized that his eagerness to license his music is a result of "growing up in poverty."

In 2001, Moby founded the Area:One Festival. It was a popular touring rock festival that featured an eclectic range of musical genres. A second tour was organized for the following year.

In 2001, Moby also earned the ire of Eminem after calling his music misogynist and homophobic; Eminem later satirized Moby (among others) in "Without Me," calling him a "fag" and questioning his relevance with the claim "Nobody listens to techno." Moby replied that he hadn't played techno since 1992. The two were in a confrontation at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, though Moby expresses respect for Eminem as an artist.

In 2002, Moby briefly had a television show on MTV, Se?or Moby's House of Music, which focused mostly on more obscure electronic music. Also in 2002, Moby released 18, an album that had 18 tracks. The most popular song on the album was "We Are All Made of Stars". Moby says he wrote "Sunday (The Day Before My Brithday)" in response to the 2001 terrorist attacks, which happened on his birthday.

2005

In 2005 Moby released "Lift Me Up", a single from his album Hotel, which featured, in addition to numerous remixes, UK company Digimpro's software. The program allows users to remix the song - using any or all of the samples included?and save it as an MP3 file. Thus unlimited, personalized versions of the title track were possible. Digimpro had previously seen exposure with group Erasure's singles "Breathe," "Here I Go Again Impossible," and "Don't Say You Love Me," allowing users the same ability. Instead of his usual usage of samples, all of the vocals and instruments on "Hotel" were performed live in the studio by Moby and vocalist Laura Dawn, who is the Cultural Director of MoveOn.org.

For certain dates on Moby's 2005 European tour, Liveherenow provided concert goers with CDs of the show 10 minutes after the show finished. Other Mute Records artists like Erasure and Client have previously used this company for similar reasons.

2006

Moby has recently scored the soundtrack for Richard Kelly's upcoming movie 'Southland Tales', whilst he is generally against composing music for films, he was a huge fan of Kelly's previous film 'Donnie Darko' and could not resist the offer the director gave him.

Also, a compilation album of his greatest hits, entitled Go - the Very Best of Moby will be released on November 6, 2006. Along with his best-known singles, it will include a new track, New York New York for which Debbie Harry has provided vocals.

ACTIVISM

Moby is well known advocate for a variety of progressive causes, working with MoveOn.org, and PETA, among others. He created MoveOn Voter Fund's "Bush in 30 Seconds" contest along with singer Laura Dawn and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser.

He also actively engages in nonpartisan activism. He has performed benefit concerts for the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, promoting music therapy. Moby also serves on the Board of Directors of Amend.org, a nonprofit that implements injury prevention programs in Africa.

He is an advocate of network neutrality and he testified before the US House committee debating the issue in 2006

STUDIO ALBUMS

1992 - Moby
1993 - The Story So Far
1993 - Ambient
1995 - Everything is Wrong
1996 - Animal Rights
1999 - Play
2000 - Play: The B Sides
2002 - 18
2003 - 18 B Sides + DVD
2005 - Hotel

SINGLES

1991- "Go"
1993 - "I Feel It / Thousand"
1993 - "Move"
1994 - "Hymn"
1994 - "Feeling So Real"
1995 - "Everytime You Touch Me"
1995 - "Into the Blue"
1996 - "Bring Back My Happiness"
1996 - "That's When I Reach For My Revolver"
1996 - "Come On Baby"
1997 - "James Bond Theme (Moby's Re-Version)"
1998 - "Honey"
1999 - "Run On"
1999 - "Bodyrock"
1999 - "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad"
2000 - "Natural Blues"
2000 - "Porcelain"
2001 - "South Side" (featuring Gwen Stefani)
2000 - "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad / Honey (Remix feat. Kelis)"
2002 - "We Are All Made of Stars"
2002 - "Extreme Ways"
2002 - "In This World"
2003 - "Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)"
2003 - "Jam For The Ladies"
2005 - "Lift Me Up"
2005 - "Raining Again" 2005 "Spiders"
2005 - "Beautiful"
2005 - "Dream About Me"
2006 - "Slipping Away"

COMPILATIONS

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OptimusPrime

Submitted by OptimusPrime at Wed 16 Aug, 2006 5:19 am

OptimusPrime

Last updated by OptimusPrime at Wed 16 Aug, 2006 5:19 am

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