Play Album is by Moby, the American electronic musician, singer and songwriter.
It was released on the 7th of May 1999 as Moby’s fifth studio album by record labels Mute and V2.
Work began in 1998 after the release of Animal Rights, which was panned by critics and failed to connect with fans and the general music buying public. Moby had moved away from his familiar electronic music style into alternative rock and hardcore punk, both of which he’d listened to when growing up.
The Play album, recorded at his home studio in Manhattan, New York, took Moby back to EDM ( Electronic Dance Music ) and was intended as the last to be released. Moby combines samples taken from other songs and mixes them into varied styles of music from techno, ambient to blues, American folk and even disco.
Upon release, the album was well received by the music press and had sales of 6,000 copies a week. Eleven months later, it was achieving weekly sales of 150,000. To date, the Play album is the all-time biggest-seller in electronic music with over twelve million copies sold.
The album has been certified 7x Platinum in New Zealand, 4x Platinum in Australia and 6x Platinum in the United Kingdom. The United States and Belgium it has been certified 2x Platinum, with 3x Platinum in Canada. Mody achieved Diamond status in France with sales of over 1.105 million. In Germany and Austria, the Play album has been awarded Gold, and in Switzerland, the IFPI ( International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ) has awarded it 3x Gold.
The album’s first single, ” Honey “, was released on the 24th of August 1998. The song makes use of vocal samples from ” Sometimes ” a 1960 song by Bessie Jones, who was an American gospel and folk singer. Born on the 8th of February 1902 in Smithville, Georgia, United States, she died from leukaemia in 1984.
The instrumentation is constructed around a sample of repeating piano riff. The sample used is from the song ” Woman to Woman “, a song by Joe Cocker. Written by Joe Cocker and Chris Stainton it topped the Spanish singles chart in 1972.
” Honey ” reached number forty-nine on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Singles Sales Chart. In the UK it peaked at thirty-three on the UK Singles Chart. The single made it into the Top 100 in Australia, Austria, Netherlands and Germany.
Moby had chart success with the Play album. In the United States, it reached number thirty-eight on the Billboard 200. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France it topped the album charts. The album crept it into the Top Ten in Belgium ( Flanders ), Austria, Holland, Italy, Norway and Mexico.
Richard Melville Hall was born on the 11th of September 1965 in Harlem, which is a large neighbourhood located in the northern section of the borough of Manhattan, New York City.
The musician, DJ, record producer, singer and songwriter, uses his middle name and nickname Moby as his stage name.
” Moby ” was, according to him, chosen by his parents, Elizabeth and James, because of the family ties to Herman Melville, famous for writing the 1851 novel Moby Dick.
In the early days, Moby released singles under different names, like Barracuda, Brainstorm, and UHF. His first single, ” Time’s Up “, which featured vocalist Jimmy Mack failed commercially with only a few copies sold.
His breakthrough came with the track ” Go ( Woodtick Mix ) “, the first time he’d used the name Moby. The progressive house track used ” Laura Palmer’s Theme ” from the cult 1990s American television mystery horror drama Twin Peaks. The single peaked at number ten in the UK.
To date, Moby’s Album releases are fifteen studio, one live album, ten compilations, six remix and three video albums. He has also released four extended plays, seventy-two singles and ninety-six music videos.
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, Moby has won many awards including four MTV VMA, one NME, one NRJ Music, one BMI Pop Songs, one Billboard Music and one IFPI Platinum Europe. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award six times.
Moby is a vegan and animal rights supporter; he has worked with many charities including The Humane Society and Farm Sanctuary.
Play Album Track Listing:
2. Find My Baby
4. Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
5. South Side
8. Natural Blues
11. Run On
12. Down Slow
13. If Things Were Perfect
16. Guitar Flute & String
17. The Sky Is Broken
18. My Weakness