Moby

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Born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in 1965, Richard Melville Hall has since become one of the most successful musicians in the United States in the field of electronic music, though he began his musical career as a teenager in a hardcore punk band entitled the Vatican Commandos. After the breakup of the Vatican Commandos he began to experiment with electronic music, which he fell in love with it after realizing it could be just as avant-garde and rebellious as punk rock. His stage name Moby was inspired by the 1851 Herman Melville novel Moby-Dick - the author is a distant relative of Moby's.

Moby released two full-length albums and two limited edition vinyl recordings between 1985 and 1994 on independent label Instinct Records, while working full time as a house disc jockey in clubs around New York. His career took off with the release of his third album Everything is Wrong on Mute Records in 1995; it was the first of his albums to receive critical appraise, based on the popularity of tracks like "Every Time You Touch Me" and "Feeling So Real". He released his second major album Animal Rights a year later in 1996; the album's unconventional juxtaposition of punk rock with ambient techno proved unpopular, and his later releases have tended to gravitate toward his earlier sound.

He released his most successful album, Play, in 1999. Play is unique in how it was marketed; all of its tracks have been commercially licensed, meaning that all the songs from the album have appeared in some other form of media such as television commercials or movies. The album was a hit, eventually selling over 2 million copies in the United States alone. His next album, 2002's 18, was similarly successful, riding on the momentum generated by singles like "We Are All Made of Stars", "In This World", and "Extreme Ways". During this period Moby embarked on a number of nationwide tours, accompanied by such acts as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Prodigy.

Though he first made his humble beginnings as a DJ over twenty years ago, Moby's career has continued well into the present day. After releasing his fourth major album Hotel in 2005 ("Lift Me Up", "Spiders") he has returned to the forefront of the music scene again in 2008 to release his most recent album Last Night. The album has so far produced three singles ("Alice", "Disco Lies", "Everyday It's 1989") and contributed to the soundtrack for the 2008 monster movie Cloverfield.

From Discogs:

Born: September 11, 1965, New York, NY, United States.One of electronic music's most visible and talked-about figures, Moby's career comprises many years of work and many musical twists and turns. His career stretches all the way back to early rave and acid-house releases in the late 80s and early 90s as U.H.F. and Voodoo Child, through to his much loved/hated R&B/blues/pop/techno sample cut-ups of today.His most notable tracks from his early days include "Next Is The E", "Everytime You Touch Me" and "Into The Blue", and the classic "Go", as well as his early albums "Ambient" and "Early Underground". A brief outing into more rock-oriented territory came with 1996's "Animal Rights", followed by "I Like To Score" in 1997, highlighting his past movie score contributions (most notably a remix of the "James Bond Theme").In 1999 and 2000, Moby found unprecedented pop success with the album "Play" and the slew of singles and radio tracks that came from it ("Honey", "Run On", "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?", "Natural Blues", "Porcelain", "Southside", and more). Among other things, his appearance as a DJ in the foyer of the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards (wearing a gold suit and playing two golden copies of "Play") led many people to decry him as a sellout. Nonetheless, his follow-up album "18" tinkered very little with the "Play" sound and still received a mostly positive reception in 2002.Besides the many faces of his music, Moby also gathers controversy for his outspoken religious, dietary and animal rights views, as well as persistent rumors that his live shows are mostly pre-recorded. Every Moby release from the mid-90s onward has borne the text "Animals are not ours to eat, wear or experiment on. Thanks to Christ."

From Lastfm:

Moby is an American musician and is also the name of his live band. Born Richard Melville Hall on September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York. Moved to Darien, Connecticut at the age of two. He has also released music under the names Voodoo Child, Barracuda, U.H.F., The Brotherhood, DJ Cake, Lopez, On the Rim of the Wheel a Nail, and Brainstorm/Mindstorm. Moby plays keyboards, guitar and bass guitar. He took his performing name from the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, who is his great-great-granduncle.

Read more about Moby on Last.fm.

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From Wikipedia:

Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), better known by his stage name Moby, is an American DJ, singer-songwriter, and musician.

He sings and plays keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums. Moby 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 and cultural phenomenon, 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".

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