For this assignment, I will be researching into the work of Moby in his field of Electronic Music. I will be describing his work and the influences it has had in Electronic Music and I will also compare the differences in his work to that of Norman Cook from the same time period.
Moby is a world renowned American music producer, who’s real name is Richard Melville Hall, he became popular for his work with Electronic Dance Music in the early 1990’s. As well as producing music he is also a successful American musician, singer, song writer, photographer and DJ. Producing his own music he has had huge success selling more than twenty million records around the world. Moby’s work has included sounds from various genres like Dance, Punk Rock and Ambient. For his work Moby uses a variety of electronic instrument including drum machines, synthesizer, guitars and turntables. His success within his field lead to receiving many awards and nominations for his work.
Writing and producing his own work Moby’s released his first album ‘Instinct” in July 1992 under the record label Instict Records. Following the success of this album he went on to release more using his unique method of Electronic Dance Music production combining and utilising various genres. Moby began to rise in popularity when he began using sounds from the Techno and Breakbeat genres. This was reflected with the release and sales of his fifth album ‘Play’ on 17th May 1999 which achieved International success selling six thousand copies in its first week.
During early 2000 his hit album ‘Play’ re entered the charts creating a surprise success. The album sold ten million copies worldwide and he followed this success by selling eight hit singles from the album. Following the surprise success of “Play” moby released a similar album in 2002 that sold five million copies worldwide. In 2005 he released a different style of album named Hotel. In this album he dabbled in alternative rock elements within his work. Although successful the album was not as well received as his previous work. From here Moby went on to work with more Electronic Dance infused sounds and in 2009 launched an album called Wait For Me. It was a completely new style of Electronic music and was the first time and producer had included sound from the ambient genre in their songs. They had no drum beats or vocals and they used nice chords. It was a new style that was personal to him and aimed at being melodic and beautiful. This enabled the songs to be used by people when sleeping, meditating, feeling pressured or panicng. A new venture and an extremely successful one.
His success and unique styles rolled through to today. He successfully sold multiple singles and albums. Including three video albums, six remix albums, one live album, fourteen studio albums, ten compilation albums and seventy two singles. For his work and success, throughout his entire career in Electronic Music and other areas, Moby received a huge amount of nominations and awards. These include forty two nominations for a variety awards and recognitions he has successfully won nineteen of these awards. The awards and recognitions have included two MTV EMA awards, one Q award, two MTV VMA awards, one NME award, one NRJ Music award, three IFPI Platinum Europe awards, one BMI pop song award, two Billboard music awards, one BMI Film and TV award, two MVPA awards, one WEBBY award and one VHI/VOGNE fashion award. A huge reflection on the impact his career has had.
In addition to producing his own music Moby has also co written and produced music for artists such as Daft Punk Pet Shop Boys Britney Spears, Guns and Roses and Metalica.Whilst producing his Electronic music Moby branched out from his career and in 2001 he launched co-owned business in various fields including clothing lines, a comic store, a tea shop and also an animation studio. All of these adventures were successful at the time.
Throughout his career Moby has had many competitors who have also produced and written their own Electronic music. An example of one of these competitors would be Norman Cook ‘Fat Boy Slim’ a well known and hugely popular DJ, Electronic Music producer/mixer and musician. Fat Boy Slim’s real name is Quentin Leo Cook but is better known as Norman Cook. Working in a variety of genres like Big Beat, acid House Electronica and trip Hop and using many Electronic instruments including turntables, Keyboards, synthesizers and samples he became a massive success.
Fat Boy Slim began his career known by the name Norman Cook. He performed as a bass guitarist in a band called The Housemartins. They achieved a number one single but eventually split. Following this split Norman Cook began a career in electronic music production when he formed the band Beats International. The band were a success and achieved a huge number one hit that was eventually the seventh highest selling single of 1990. Following their success Norman Cook helped other bands succeed such as Freak Power and Pizzaman. After the success of these joint ventures Norman Cook changed his known/professional name to Fat Boy Slim and began working as a solo artist under this title producing his own Electrical Dance Music. The first studio album that he released in 1996, under his new name, was called Better Living Through Chemistry. Although this album received some negative feedback it was,on the hole, a great success. He went on to release another three albums that had many successful singles released from them. In 2008 Norman Cook formed the Brighton Port Authority that was responsible for successfully remixing tracks for groups and artists like A tribe called Quest and Wildchild. Following on from this success Norman Cook ventured out and went into partnership with David Byrne and recorded and produced a concept music album Here Lies Love and hugely popular album that was adapted into a musical stage production and went on to achieve success in the United Kingdom and the United States. During his outstanding career Norman Cook received nominations for sixty seven awards and recognitions. Of these sixty seven nominations he successfully won nineteen of these awards. They included nine MTV music awards, a Q award, Two Brit Awards, a Grammy, two MVPA and four NME awards. Some of these were achieved as a result of his massive success performing and working as the solo act fat boy slim. The awards he won for his solo work were nine MTV Music Awards and two Brit Awards.
Completing my research and assignment I have found many interesting facts about both Moby and Norman Cook – Fat boy Slim. Even though Electronic Music has evolved and people now have access to equipment to produce this music at home both have survived, remained successful and continue to produce outstanding work.
Moby had a fantastic career that has helped bring the field of Electronic Music to people throughout America and the United Kingdom. His career has lasted over a longer time span than most of the competitors in his field and is still working today. He has persevered, experimented and taken risks using music from different genres and incorporating them into the field of Electronic Music. Mobys hugely successful career has included writing, producing and selling his own singles and albums. Receiving many awards in recognition of this success. Alongside his solo work he has produced albums and singles for other artists who worked in a variety of genres. This gave him additional understanding of different genres and enabled him to successfully produce music that was loved by all.
Norman Cook has had an outstanding career and helped increase the popularity of the Big Beat Genre. Working both as a solo artist, being part of a band and working with bands producing their music in both the United Kingdom and America. His career has lasted the period of time and he is still working today. Norman Cook began working as part of a successful band and eventually began producing Electronic music for other bands and artists. When renaming himself and working as a solo artist Norman cook found huge success. He worked in a variety of genres and was successful in each one. His music appealed to large audiences and was well received by most helping bring Electronic Music to many. His work is still well known and loved today. Throughout his career he received a huge amount of nominations for his work and won some of these awards. Achieving his biggest success during the 1990’s. Working with many groups and artists he has brought electronic dance music to more people.
I feel Moby was an extremely important originator because he persisted with the different types of genres creating unique sounds that appealed to different and larger audiences across America and the United Kingdom. They were easy for his target audiences to identify and listen to. These creations eventually lead to incorporating Electronic Music into the ambient genre. A unique and beneficial success to Electronic music as it is now being utilised throughout many different genres. For this reason, I believe Moby to have been the most influential producer in electronic music to date.