Ranking All the Moby Studio Albums
New York-born Richard Melville Hall was born on September 11, 1965, but was mostly raised in San Fransisco, California, then to Connecticut. At just three days old, his father nicknamed him Moby, directly referencing it to Herman Melville, the author of Moby-Dick. The story has it the Hall Family are related to the author.
Moby was mostly raised by his mother, as his father died when he was just two years old. Now widowed, Moby’s mother struggled to make ends meet. Sometimes, they’d stay with his grandparents in New York. Starting as young as nine years old,
Moby took up classical guitar and received piano lessons from his mother before studying jazz, music theory, and percussion. Starting in 1983, he became a guitarist for the hardcore punk band, the Vatican Commandos, which featured him playing on their debut EP Hit Squad for God.
Moby has also worked with Flipper and AWOL, mostly playing music in the punk music genre. His appreciation for electric music inspired him into performing DJ work at local clubs and venues which ultimately led him to a recording career that has seen nineteen studio albums recorded and released, as well as twelve compilation albums, a live album, and four extended plays (EPs).
The studio albums have been ranked according to the mix of rating reviews and commercial success, which is as varied as the music styles Moby has played throughout his recording career.
19. Animal Rights
Moby’s fourth studio album, (Animal Rights), was released on September 23, 1996, and was a considerably different style of music than his dance electronica style. It was his attempt to bring forth a punk rock performance as he felt disillusioned by the music industry’s failure to understand electronica music. This backfired as the album did not receive favorable reviews by the critics and the fans weren’t fond of it either. There was one single out of the two released that did make a chart appearance, which was (That’s When I Reach to My Revolver), but it was a mediocre performance at best. It charted at number fifty on the UK Singles Chart and at number sixty-four in Belgium.
18. More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse
Moby’s fourteenth studio album, (More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse), was released on June 12, 2017, and received mixed reviews by the critics. While the purpose behind the tracks recorded on the album is meant to be fast and stressful, the criticism stems from the album coming across as too angry and not as well organized as it could have been. It failed to appear on any album rankings chart, which suggested the fans weren’t too fond of it either.
Released on August 17, 1993, (Ambient) was Moby’s second studio album, which featured similarities to Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works. Ambient was experimental and moody, which resulted in the music critics ranging in reviews from mixed to favorable. Much of the work was instrumental, which some critics commented sounded too much like Aphex Twin’s work instead of Moby being more independently creative with his work.
Moby’s eleventh album, (Innocents), was released on October 1, 2013, and received mixed reviews. While the music critics praised the album as a decent collection of music that’s ideal for solitude listening, others felt some of it felt was unrecognizable. However, the favorable reviews cited Moby’s performance as more relaxing and somewhat hypnotic, which was the intent behind the album’s direction, to begin with. On the US Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, it was the second best-selling album, which demonstrated its success among electronica dance music fans.
15. Three Systems Are Failing
The thirteenth studio album from Moby was (Three Systems Are Failing), which was released on October 14, 2016. On the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart, it was a number ten seller. This dystopian-style album received mixed reviews by the music critics, commenting it wasn’t among Moby’s best work. One complaint was there was too much socialist activism flowing through the album that took away its overall appeal.
14. All Visible Objects
On May 15, 2020, (All Visible Objects) was released as Moby’s seventeenth studio album, which generally received positive reviews from music critics. It was the first of his more recent work that stepped away from the angry tone of music he recorded that caused him to lose ground among many critics and fans that otherwise saw his work as nothing short of brilliant. Moby’s affection for ambient and orchestral music shines in this album, which served as a refreshing break from the social-political points he attempted to make with some of his less popular recordings.
13. Live Ambients – Improvised Recordings Vol. 1
The eighteenth album from Moby was (Live Amibents – Improvised Recordings Vol. 1), which was released on December 24, 2020. From start to finish, the music on the album performed exactly as its title suggested, which was improvised music that played itself out as if it had its own soul. There are ten tracks featured in the album, none of which have any special titles to them that set the one apart from the other. The concept behind the album is to be a calming experience, letting the music set the mood for the full duration of its 112 minutes of playtime.
12. Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt
The fifteenth studio album, (Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt) was released on March 2, 2018, and generally received positive reviews from the critics. In the UK, it was the top-selling dance album and on the US Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart it was the sixth best-selling record. Globally, the album saw a decent amount of sales to suggest it was commercially successful enough to win over enough fans who appreciated Moby’s downbeat content.
The nineteenth studio album from Moby is (Reprise), which was released on May 28, 2021. Inspired by a Bryan Ferry concert he attended in Los Angeles, the introduction to orchestral music resulted in Moby experimenting with the sound of acoustic and classical instruments to produce what was a more vulnerable album recording than all of Moby’s previous work. He did admit while he was achieving a specific goal with this project, he wasn’t entirely sure if he succeeded. AllMusic felt he did by giving him a near five-star rating and The Independent gave it a four out of five, citing the music was orderly and classical.
Moby’s self-titled debut album was released On July 27, 1992, and received favorable reviews by the music critics. It was the first time the artist introduced his electronica-style music to the world and it served as a brilliant prelude of what was to come. the single, (Thousand) was included only on the German edition of the album and was listed in the Guinness World Records for having the fastest beats per minute tempo as it clocked in over 1,000 BPM, which actually served as the reasoning behind the song’s title.
The single, (Go), was Moby’s first charted hit, which climbed as high as number eighteen on the US Dance Club Songs chart and at number ten on the UK Singles Chart. In the Netherlands, Go charted as high as number nine and it was a number twenty hit in Belgium. (Drop a Beat) and (Nex Is the E) were the next two big hits for Moby on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart as the first of two peaked at number six and the second of the two peaked at number eight.
9. Long Ambients 2
Released on March 15, 2019, (Long Ambients 2) served as the follow-up album to Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. that had been released three years prior. With over two hundred minutes of ambient music designed to relax the listener, Moby admitted he personally found it difficult to find music that helped him to sleep, so he came up with his own. He also admitted this was an album he created with himself as the core audience instead of attempting to please the crowd. The release date of the album was by design, meant to commemorate World Sleep Day, which was first organized in 2008 by the World Sleep Society as a means to bring awareness to the importance of well-rested individuals as they try to contend with the worldly conditions that seem to never make time for sleep.
8. Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
(Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.) was Moby’s twelfth studio album he recorded, which was released on February 25, 2016. According to Allmusic, this was one of Moby’s best works as the music is highly commended for its immerse listening experience. Among music fans who care more about relaxing, meditative music, this is one of Moby’s best works as a full album recording. On the US Billboard New Age Albums chart, it was the second best-selling album within its genre.
On May 13, 2011, (Destroyed) became Moby’s tenth album release. The mixed to positive reviews it received from the music critics that saw the favorable remark from Rolling Stone Magazine applaud its inviting appeal to a midnight-style musical experience. It was a top ten selling album among most of the nations and became certified gold by Russia’s music industry, the National Federation of Phonograph Producers (NFPF).
6. Wait for Me
On June 30, 2009, (Wait for Me) was released as Moby’s ninth studio album. Overall, it received fairly positive reviews by the music critics and it was best received by the music fans of Belgium as the album became certified gold with its Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA). There were five singles released from the album that saw three of them receive chart success. (Mistake) served as the most favored as it charted as high as number nineteen on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and at number fifty-two in Belgium.
5. Everything Is Wrong
(Everything Is Wrong) was Moby’s third studio album, which has since become certified gold by the UK’s BPI after it sold 100,000 copies within that nation. The critics gave it favorable reviews as the informative content that was used in the music play illustrated a passion Moby shared in regards to animal rights and environmental concerns.
There were five singles released from the album, each of them earning chart success in various nations. (Feeling So Real) was the most successful as it charted as high as number nine on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, which served as the sixth occasion Moby experienced a top ten hit in the US. Everything Is Wrong was Moby’s third studio album.
4. Last Night
Moby’s eighth studio album was (Last Night), which was released on March 29, 2008. It became certified gold with Belgium’s BEA, France’s National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (SNEP), Russia’s National Federation of Phonograph Producers (NFPF), and Switzerland’s International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). There were four singles released from the album, that saw (Disco Lies) and (I Love to Move in Here) as chart-toppers on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. It was the third and fourth time Moby realized a number one hit in the US.
On March 14, 2005, (Hotel) was released as Moby’s seventh studio album. Globally, it sold over two million copies and became a certified platinum success among the nations of France and Portugal. It was certified gold with Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Russia, and the UK. As successful as this album has been, Moby personally admitted in interviews it is his least favorite.
The music critics did give it mixed reviews themselves, admitting it wasn’t really Moby’s best work, but the fans seemed to have felt differently. There were six singles that were released from the album, with (Lift Me Up) becoming the most successful of all as it earned a gold certification in France, which was instrumental in the album itself becoming certified platinum with its SNEP. Hotel also became platinum with Portugal’s Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa (AFP) and was certified gold among the nations of Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Russia, and the UK.
(18) was released on May 14, 2002, as Moby’s sixth studio album. It was the top-selling album among most of the nations and it was a fourth-place charter on the US Billboard 200. In sales, the album earned platinum certifications from the music industries belonging to Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, and the UK. It was certified gold by Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. Overall, 18 sold four million copies worldwide.
There were seven singles released from the album, each of them earning appearances on the music charts. Among the hits, the first single, (We Are All Made of Stars) was the most recognized as it achieved the best overall chart success, not to mention it later served in 2008 as a human rights song directed at the social-political issues that were taking place in Tibet at the time.
Released on May 17, 1999, the most successful album Moby produced was (Play), which was his fifth studio recording. As an album, it achieved its best ranking success as a top seller among the nations of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and the UK. On the US Billboard Top Catalog Albums chart, it was the second-best charted album overall while it was a number thirty-eight rank on the US Billboard 200.
The album was certified multi-platinum among the nations of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. With the European IFPI, Play was a four-time platinum success with over four million copies sold. Worldwide, over twelve million copies were sold to music fans who remain in agreement Play was Moby’s best work as a solo artist. At the moment, Play is the highest-selling electronica album of all time.
There were a total of nine singles that came from the album and each of them earned charting success on the billboards. (Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?) was the most successful single from the album, which was the first of three singles from the album to receive a silver certification from the UK’s BPI. (Natural Blues) and (Porcelain) also earned silver. Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? also earned a gold certification from Austria’s IFPI and platinum from Germany’s BVMI.
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