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Famous Like Me > Composer > M > Moby

Profile of Moby on Famous Like Me

Name: Moby  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 11th September 1965
Place of Birth: New York, New York, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Moby at NASA Rewind, a 2004 rave on Manhattan Island.

Moby (born Richard Melville Hall on September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York City) is an American electronic musician. Moby takes his performing name from his relative Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.

Music career

Arguably most famous among his peers for the track "Go," a progressive track using the string line from "Laura Palmer's Theme" from the TV show Twin Peaks, Moby is also well known for singles like "Porcelain", "South Side" with Gwen Stefani, "We Are All Made of Stars" and "Lift Me Up". Moby has released singles under the names Voodoo Child, Barracuda, UHF, The Brotherhood, DJ Cake, Lopez, and Brainstorm/Mindstorm.

Several of his songs have also found their way into major motion pictures, most notably the ambient piece "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters," which was featured in the 1995 motion picture Heat. More recently, his song "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" was used both in the climax of the documentary film Peaceable Kingdom and in the trailer for Black Hawk Down. "Extreme Ways" was featured at the end of both The Bourne Identity and its sequel, The Bourne Supremacy. Indeed, in 1997 Moby released a compilation of tracks used in and inspired by the cinema called I Like to Score. His music was also used to great effect in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday.

Moby plays keyboard, guitar, and bass guitar, and expresses mild irritation at the assumption that everything on his newer albums is a sample. He used to be in a punk band called the Vatican Commandos, but abandoned punk in 1989 for electronic music.

His first album for Elektra Records was Everything Is Wrong, which earned early critical praise and minor notoriety. 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. However, both Animal Rights and I Like to Score were commercially unsuccessful and Moby and Elektra parted company.

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 a TV commercial for Bailey's Irish Cream and Nordstrom; "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!" The two were in a confrontation at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, though Moby expresses respect for Eminem's musical talents.

In 2002, Moby briefly had a television show on MTV, Señor Moby's House of Music, which focused mostly on more obscure electronic music. Also in 2002, Moby released 18 (which, despite Eminem's claim that "nobody listens" to his music, became the number 1 album in the world shortly after its release), a techno album that had 18 tracks. The most popular song on the album was "We Are All Made of Stars". Moby says he wrote "We Are All Made of Stars" because of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, which happened on his birthday (source: album 18-B Sides DVD).

Moby, a vegan non-denominational Christian and self-proclaimed simpleton (for his often sincere and idealistic political assessments), lives in New York City's Little Italy, where he's lived for a decade in a small apartment in a five-story building across the street from David Bowie. He owns a small restaurant and coffee shop called TeaNY, where he occasionally waits tables. He also organized the Little Idiot Collective, a group of artists that also includes cartoonist and musician James Kochalka.

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 single "Breathe," allowing users the same ability.

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 artists like Erasure and Client have previously used this company for similar reasons.


Moby is well known advocate for a variety of liberal causes, working with, and PETA, among others.

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 , a nonprofit that implements injury prevention programs in Africa.

Political Quotes

  • "Why can't a Democrat get fired up about protecting the environment and enacting gun control legislation just as right wing Republicans get fired up about making sure that children have access to assault weapons and banning 'The Catcher in the Rye' and 'Harry Potter'?"
  • "I'm actually kind of impressed by Iraq's patience right now...I mean, look at it objectively. They've opened their doors to UN inspectors, they're being bombed by British and American troops, American forces are massing at their borders, American diplomats are actively looking to assassinate Saddam Hussein, etc."
  • "George W. is the spawn of Satan"
  • "One simple word: ugh. Is something still considered a conspiracy if it's played out right under our noses?"
  • "It will be interesting to see what the long term fruits of our national apathy will be, 'cause so far they've been pretty foul."
  • "For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you're an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion. Then you go to an anti-immigration Web site chat room and ask, 'What's all this about George Bush proposing amnesty for illegal aliens?'"



Moby Hotel

Official Albums

  • The Story So Far (aka Moby) (Instinct 1993)
  • Ambient (Instinct 1993)
  • Everything is Wrong (Mute 1995) #21 UK
  • Animal Rights (Mute 1996) #38 UK
  • Play (Mute 1999) #1 US, #1 UK
  • Play: The B Sides (Mute 2000) #24 UK
  • 18 (Mute 2002) #4 US, #1 UK
  • 18 B Sides + DVD (Mute 2003)
  • Hotel (Mute 2005) #28 US, #8 UK

Limited Edition Bonus Discs

  • Underwater (free with limited edition Everything is Wrong)
  • Little Idiot (free with limited edition Animal Rights)
  • Ambient Hotel (free with limited edition Hotel)
  • 35 Minutes (From iTunes)
Moby 18


  • Instinct Dance (Instinct 1991)
    • Moby/Barracuda/Brainstorm/Voodoo Child
  • The End of Everything (Mute 1996)
    • Voodoo Child
  • Baby Monkey (Mute 2004)


  • Early Underground (Instinct 1993)
  • Rare: The Collected B-Sides 1989-1993 (Instinct 1996)
  • Everything Is Wrong - DJ Mix Album (Mute 1996)
  • I Like to Score (Mute 1997)
  • MobySongs: 1993-98 (Elektra 2000)


  • 1991 "Go" #10 UK
  • 1993 "I Feel It / Thousand" #38 UK
  • 1993 "Move" #21 UK
  • 1994 "Hymn" #31 UK
  • 1994 "Feeling So Real" #30 UK
  • 1995 "Everytime You Touch Me" #28 UK
  • 1995 "Into the Blue" #34 UK
  • 1996 "Bring Back My Happiness" (Feb 1996)
  • 1996 "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" (26 Aug 1996) #50 UK
  • 1996 "Come On Baby" (4 Nov 1996)
  • 1997 "James Bond Theme (Moby's Re-Version)" #8 UK
  • 1998 "Honey" #33 UK
  • 1999 "Run On" #33 UK
  • 1999 "Bodyrock" #38 UK
  • 1999 "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad" #16 UK
  • 2000 "Natural Blues" #11 UK
  • 2000 "Porcelain" #5 UK
  • 2000 "South Side" (featuring Gwen Stefani) #14 US
  • 2000 "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad (re-issue) / Honey (remix)" #17 UK
  • 2002 "We Are All Made of Stars" #11 UK
  • 2002 "Extreme Ways" #39 UK
  • 2002 "In This World" #35 UK
  • 2003 "Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)"
  • 2005 "Lift Me Up" #18 UK
  • 2005 "Spiders" (UK, 30 May 2005) #50 UK
  • 2005 "Raining Again" (Australia, 6 June 2005) #52 Australia
  • 2005 "Dream About Me" (UK, 8 August 2005)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Moby