Everyone always starts posts about Moby with the words “bald vegan,” and this one will be no exception. But apart from that, he’s also one of the most prolific and inventive dance and chillout musicians of the last few decades. Somehow, time and again, he’s able to reinvent himself and still devise beautiful melodies in collaboration with exceptional singers.
Go (1992 or thereabouts), in which he turned the Twin Peaks theme into a dance anthem, and the entire Play album (1999), which was the soundtrack of every advert, film, and TV show for the next couple of years.
Where to start
The 2006 compilation Go – The Very Best of Moby contains most of his key hits – none of his later albums have had much impact on the charts. Do a bit of research beforehand to work out whether you want the US or UK version, as the track listings are different.
What to buy
If you weren’t there at the time, Play (1999) is essential listening. For a taste of his early years without all the cheese, you might want to try Ambient (1992). Then the best of his recent albums is Wait for Me (2009), and between them those three should give you a good taste for most of his different styles.
Don’t bother with
Too much of his early material, in particular Early Underground (1991) and Rare: The Collected B-Sides (1993). Animal Rights (1996) is every bit as awful as the concept that made it up, and even Everything is Wrong (1995) is hard work at times.
Every album has its moments – Everything is Wrong has Into the Blue and Hymn, and even Animal Rights has Now I Let it Go. The film music compilation I Like to Score (1997) is very good, and The Whispering Wind, from Play: The B-Sides is one of his best tracks ever.