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About Moby  |   Personal Life  |   Discography
Richard Melville Hall
Birth name:

Richard Melville Hall


Born: September 11, 1965
Known as Moby
Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), better known by his stage name Moby, is an American DJ, singer-songwriter, and musician.
Moby sings and plays keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums. He became a successful artist on the ambient electronica scene, and achieved eight top 40 singles in the UK during the 1990s. In 1999 he released the album Play, a mix of melancholic chill-out, ambient music, and upbeat electronica, that was critically acclaimed and produced an impressive eight hit singles (including his most popular songs "Porcelain", "Natural Blues" and "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?"). Play became a commercial success, selling over 10 million copies worldwide (the best-selling electronica album ever) and with its eighteen songs receiving an unprecedented licensing in films, television and commercial advertisements.
His follow-up album, 18 (2002) was also successful, receiving positive to mixed response. His next offer, the mostly upbeat Hotel (2005) received lukewarm reviews and poor sales in general. Moby released his most recent albums, Last Night (2008) and Wait for Me (2009), finding good reviews and moderate sales.
AllMusic considers Moby "one of the most important dance music figures of the early '90s, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in the UK and in America".
Early life and name
Hall was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, and raised by his mother in Darien, Connecticut.
According to Hall, his middle name and the nickname "Moby" were given to him by his parents because of an ancestral relationship to Moby Dick author Herman Melville: "The basis for Richard Melville Hall – and for Moby – is that supposedly Herman Melville was my great-great-great-granduncle."
He has released music under the names 'Voodoo Child', 'Schaumgummi', and as a member of the bands Vatican Commandos, AWOL, Caeli Seoul and Gin Train. He often performs at New York club events known as 'Degenerates'.
Music career
Moby started playing music when he was nine years old, originally learning classical guitar and music theory, then piano and drums.
From 1982 to 1985 he played in a hardcore punk band called the Vatican Commandos, who released an EP called Hit Squad for God. He also played in a Joy Division-inspired post-punk group called AWOL, who released an eponymous album in 1983. Circa 1988 Moby performed briefly with Ultra Vivid Scene. He can be seen playing guitar in UVS' video for "Mercy Seat", which appears on the band's 1988 self-titled record.
After years of pursuing a record deal he signed a recording contract with Instinct Records in 1989. During this time, Instinct Records "did not actually exist", Moby stated in his 2005 iTunes Originals interviews. When he was signed, the company did not have a logo, name, or an office.
1991-1993: Go & Rise to Fame
Moby's first live solo performance was witnessed by future longtime manager Eric Härle who later described the occasion to HitQuarters by saying: "The music was amazing, but the show was riddled with technical mishaps. It left me very intrigued and impressed in a strange way".
His first single for Instinct was "Mobility", but it was the second single, "Go", a progressive house track using the string line from "Laura Palmer's Theme" from the TV drama Twin Peaks, which was his first breakthrough, reaching the UK top ten in October 1991 and earning him his first appearance on Top of the Pops. Some of his other singles in 1992 and 1993 were "Next Is The E", "Thousand" and "Voodoo Child." When Moby started releasing records in the UK he paired up with local based manager Eric Härle.
In 1991 and 1992, he remixed The B-52s, The Prodigy, Orbital, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Michael Jackson, and Ten City.
In 1992 he toured with The Prodigy, Richie Hawtin, and John Acquaviva.
1993-1998: Everything Is Wrong, Animal Rights & I Like to Score
In 1993 Moby signed with Mute Records and released an EP entitled Move. This became his second appearance on Top of the Pops. During this time he also went on tour with Orbital and Aphex Twin in North America.
He then released his first album, Everything Is Wrong, on Mute Records in 1995. Early copies (in the UK and Germany at least) came with a special bonus CD called Underwater. This was a 43-minute five-track instrumental ambient CD. Everything Is Wrong earned early critical praise (Spin magazine named it Album of The Year) and some commercial success. He followed this up in early 1996 with the double album Everything Is Wrong—Mixed and Remixed. In 1995 Moby also headlined the second stage at Lollapalooza, playing alongside Beck, Sonic Youth, Hole and Pavement.
Disillusioned by the lack of feedback he was receiving from the music media who struggled to comprehend the artist's new electronic music and refused to take it very seriously, Moby decided to release a punk rock album. Released in 1996 Animal Rights included a cover version of Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" and was followed by a tour of Europe with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden. The single "Come on Baby" from Animal Rights was Moby's third Top of the Pops performance. It was notable for its very aggressive look and sound. Ironically just as Moby decided to change direction, the electronic music he had moved away from started to gain recognition and popularity through artists like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy. Also in 1996, Moby contributed the song "Republican Party" to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization.
According to manager Eric Härle the album almost killed his career because the new direction not only left audiences cold - with music media uninterested and his existing fan base largely alienated - but led to people being confused as to what kind of artist Moby really was. Having wiped out all his early good work in establishing himself, Moby was left struggling for any kind of recognition and quickly became seen as a "has-been" in the eyes of a lot of people in the industry.
In 1997, he released I Like to Score, a collection of his music that had been used in movies. Among those tracks were an updated version of the "James Bond Theme" used for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and "New Dawn Fades" (a cover of Joy Division's original) which had appeared (without vocals) in Michael Mann's Heat.
1999-2004: Play, 18 and worldwide success
In 1999 Moby released the album Play. The album had moderate sales after its release, but eventually went on to sell over ten million records worldwide a year later. Every song on the album was licensed internationally to various films, advertisements, and TV shows, as well as independent films and non-profit groups. Moby performed three times on Top of the Pops with singles from the album. Play mixes songs from Alan Lomax's 1993 Atlantic recording Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta. For the song "Natural Blues", Moby mixes "Trouble So Hard" from the Alan Lomax, Sounds of the South compilation.
In July 2001 Moby: PlaytheDVD was released. Produced by Moby and Jeff Rogers (Swell) the DVD was nominated for a 2002 Grammy award. The DVD included various sections: "Live on TV", most of the videos (excluding Southside w/Gwen Stefani), "Give An Idiot a Camcorder" (Moby was given a camcorder and the tape was later edited by Tara Bethune-Leaman) and an 88 minute Moby MegaMix of all the remixes created for the album Play. The Mega Mix was accompanied by visuals created in Toronto at Crush led by director Kathi Prosser.
In 2002 Moby released the follow up to Play, 18, which earned gold and platinum awards in over 30 countries, and sold more than four million copies. Moby toured extensively for both Play and 18, playing well over 500 shows in the course of four years.
He founded the Area:One Festival in 2001, a popular touring festival that features an eclectic range of musical genres. The Area:One tour featured: Outkast, Moby, New Order, Incubus, Nelly Furtado, and Paul Oakenfold. Area2 tour (2002) featured David Bowie, Moby, Blue Man Group, Busta Rhymes, and Carl Cox.
In the next few years, Moby co-wrote "Is It Any Wonder" with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, remixed the Beastie Boys, David Bowie, Nas and Metallica, produced and co-wrote the track "Early Mornin'" for Britney Spears' fourth studio album In the Zone, and collaborated with Public Enemy on "Make Love, Fuck War", which was released prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Moby also had his song "Extreme Ways" used in the Jason Bourne movies. Although not a hit when it was released, "Extreme Ways" has gone on to become one of Moby's most downloaded songs.
In 2003 Moby headlined the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury. In 2004 Moby worked on the John Kerry presidential campaign, and also worked extensively with liberal group moveon.org.
2005-2008: Hotel, Last Night and The Little Death
In 2005 Moby released Hotel under the label Pacha. Instead of his relying on samples for vocals, all of the vocals and instruments were performed live in the studio, by Moby and vocalist Laura Dawn.
Hotel spawned two of Moby's biggest European hits, "Lift Me Up" and "Slipping Away", both of which were #1 European singles. Hotel went on to earn gold and platinum awards in over twenty countries, with global sales of over two million copies.
In the UK, ITV used a specially remixed version of "Lift Me Up" as its Formula 1 coverage theme music.
In 2006, Moby also starred in the movie Pittsburgh, with Jeff Goldblum and Illeana Douglas.
In 2006, he accepted an offer to score the soundtrack for Richard Kelly's 2007 movie Southland Tales because he was a fan of Kelly's previous film, Donnie Darko.
In 2007 he produced and performed on The Bongos' remake of "The Bulrushes", for the special edition re-issue of their debut album, Drums Along The Hudson (Cooking Vinyl Records), and appeared in the promo video of the song.
In 2007 Moby launched a website entitled mobygratis.com. mobygratis provides free music for film students and independent and non-profit filmmakers. It is a non-profit venture, with any/all revenue earned by mobygratis.com going to the Humane Society/HSUS.
In 2007 Moby also started a rock band, The Little Death, NYC, with his friends Laura Dawn, Daron Murphy, and Aaron A. Brooks In 2008 Moby released Last Night, an eclectic album of electronic dance music inspired by a night out in his New York neighborhood (the Lower East Side). The singles from Last Night include "Alice", "Disco Lies", "I Love To Move In Here", and "Ooh Yeah". The album was recorded in Moby's home studio in Manhattan, New York and features a number of guest vocalists, including Wendy Starland, MC Grandmaster Caz, one of the writers of "Rapper's Delight" (on "I Love to Move in Here"), Sylvia from the band Kudu, British MC Aynzli and the Nigerian 419 Squad.
In collaboration with The Sunday Times, Moby released an exclusive mix album titled A Night in NYC which appeared on the newspaper's cover. It was a compilation of Moby tracks spanning his career and included video from his new album Last Night.
2009-2010: Wait for Me
In a November 2008 interview Moby spoke about the follow up album to Last Night. "I want to make a really emotional, beautiful record. I don't know if I will succeed, but my goal is to make something very personal, very melodic, very beautiful." On the 14th of April, Moby confirmed that the album would be released on the 30th of June . "I recorded the album here in my studio on the lower east side (although 'studio' always seems like an overly grand word for a bunch of equipment set up in a small bedroom). In the past I've worked in large and small studios, but for this record I wanted to record everything at home by myself", said Moby on his journal. "I started working on the album about a year ago, and the creative impetus behind the record was hearing a David Lynch speech at BAFTA, in the UK. David was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine and good. It seems as if too often an artist's, musician's or writer's creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, and how much market share it commands and how much money it generates. In making this record I wanted to focus on making something that I loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. As a result it's a quieter and more melodic and more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I've made in the past." The album, titled Wait for Me, was released in June 2009.
Moby and David Lynch discussed the recording process of the album on Lynch's online channel, David Lynch Foundation Television Beta.
The first single off the album was "Shot in the Back of the Head", and the video for it was aptly directed by Moby's muse, David Lynch. The single was available for free download from Moby's website.
Ken Thomas, who had previously produced some Sigur Rós albums, mixed Wait for Me. According to Moby, "mixing the record with him (Thomas) was really nice, as he's creatively open to trying anything (like recording an old broken bakelite radio and running it through some broken old effects pedals to see what it would sound like. It's on the record as a 45 second long track called "Stock Radio"). And as a geeky technical aside, we mixed the record using purely analog equipment in true stereo, akin to how records were mixed in the late '60s, some of the songs sound pretty amazing in headphones, if I do say so myself..."
Moby plans to tour for the new album with a full band again, something that occurred rarely during Moby's Last Night promotion, except for selected festival performances. Moby raised between $75,000 and $100,000 to help those affected by domestic violence after all funding for the state's domestic violence program was cut in July. To do this, he donated the profits from his upcoming shows in California (San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles). Moby headlined the Australian 2009 Falls Festival, as well as the other Sunset Sounds festivals.
On February 22, 2010, Moby announced a UGC competition with Genero.TV asking his fans to create a videoclip, that will be serviced worldwide as the official videoclip for his upcoming single "Wait for Me", the last single from his album Wait for Me. On April 19, Moby chose the winning videoclip out of 500 entries, "based on it's creativity, production value, concept, and humor". The chosen videoclip, written and directed by Nimrod Shapira from Israel, portrays the story of a girl who decides to invite Moby into her life. She attempts to do so by using the "How to Summon Moby Guide for Dummies", putting herself through 10 bizarre and comical steps (each is a tribute to a different Moby videoclip). The single was released on May 4, 2010.
In March 2010, Moby released a new single "Wait For Me", the title track from his original album. It was released on May 3, 2010.
2010-present: Destroyed
In January 2010, Moby announced that he was to begin working on his next record. He said "the mood for this record will be more acoustic and less electronic than before."
On February 15, 2011, Moby announced the release of his new album. It is titled Destroyed and will be released May 16, 2011. A photography book with the same name will also be released around the time of the album. "Musically," he said, "it's very melodic and atmospheric and electronic, and if i had to sum it up i would describe it as: 'broken down melodic electronic music for empty cities at 2 a.m'." This contradicts what he said the album will sound like in January 2010. The album cover, which was released with the new information, was taken in LaGuardia Airport. It is a picture of a sign that reads 'destroyed', it's used in the airport to notify passengers when the unclaimed baggage has been disposed of. The album will consist of 15 tracks, one of them previously featured on the compilation A Night in NYC, titled "Rockets". Along with the album's announcement came the release of the Be The One EP, which contains 3 of the tracks from Destroyed. It is free if you sign up for Moby's mailing list.
Collaborations
Moby has collaborated live with many of his heroes while on tour or at fundraisers. He has performed "Walk on the Wild Side" with Lou Reed, "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kris Kristofferson, "Heroes" and "Cactus" with David Bowie, "Helpless" with Bono and Michael Stipe, "New Dawn Fades" with New Order, "Make Love, Fuck War" with Public Enemy, "Whole Lotta Love" with Slash, and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" with Mission Of Burma.
He made two duets with the French singer Mylène Farmer (the one "Slipping Away (Crier La vie) in 2006 and the other "Looking For My Name" in 2008). He also produced 7 songs for her 8th album Bleu Noir published on 6 December 2010"
In 2007, he became one of the few well-known commercial artists to produce work for a video game, collaborating with DJ Oscar the Punk on all three tracks of The Bioshock EP, included with limited edition copies of the Xbox 360 and PC game Bioshock.
RIAA criticism
On June 20, 2009, Moby posted on his blog in response to the RIAA's decision to sue Minnesota suburban mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset for $2,000,000 for illegally downloading music from Kazaa. He called this "utter nonsense" and stated "the RIAA needs to be disbanded."
Guestbook

ziawildcat on Jun 5th, 2011

Destroyed CD was a flop.




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