Moby "Play": the story of the hit album that should have been his last

Today, "Play" is the first album to have all tracks licensed for use in movies, TV shows or commercials. The record influenced many artists, including British singer Adele.

Moby "Play" (1999) - history of creation, interesting facts, video clips

Play - the fifth studio album by the DJ Moby, which almost became the musician's last record. He came out in the spring 1999 year, but recording began two years before release.

At first, "Play" showed a weak commercial success, but a month later it reached the first line of a number of charts, becoming platinum in more than 20 countries around the world! For Moby himself, the fifth studio work was both a critical success and a commercial phenomenon. Many tracks from the disc became hits that did not stop for many years. Songs from "Play" were widely used in films, advertising, TV shows, media. As a result, the "last record" has become the best-selling electronic album in history: the world circulation is over 12 million copies!

History of creation


Play can rightly be called unique work in electronic music. The album included 18 tracks, and the rights were acquired by TV people, advertisers and directors for everything!


Today Play awarded all the most prestigious laurels: the album is included in the famous list 500 Greatest Records of All Time according to the influential music magazine "Rolling Stone. However, after its release, it did not have commercial success, and the tracks did not even want to be played on the radio. The reason for this is a failed punk release Animal Rights 1996 of the year. Then Moby decided to move away from the usual electronic sound, and it became a mistake. Yes, rock monsters praised his efforts, but former fans turned their backs on the DJ. So “Play” was kind of an attempt to get back the public recognition. In my own words Richard Hall (real name of the musician), he planned to record the last album and retire. In his plans was the study of architecture. However, to everyone's surprise Play began to show incredible commercial results.

List of tracks


We invite you to personally enjoy the splendor Play - below is the complete list of tracks from the album. We also recommend that you pay special attention to the great video clips shot for singles.


"Find My Baby"


Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?

"South Side"


body rock

"Natural Blues"



"Run On"

Down Slow

"If Things Were Perfect"



"Guitar Flute & String"

"The Sky Is Broken"

"My Weakness"

A curious fact: the album included 18 tracks, but, according to Hall, there were about two hundred of them! The fact is that many compositions were punk, and therefore, given the failure "Animal Rights", they had to be abandoned:

“Some of the tracks were punk, others were heavy techno… There were also a lot of experimental records. But we decided not to risk it. Today they have accumulated a significant amount, so I'm even thinking of releasing a separate punk album! The only thing is that they need to be improved a little, ”says Moby.

Release, promotion, success


The album was released in May 1999 of the year. As mentioned above, at first its sales figures were rather sad. But suddenly, at some point, its circulation crossed the mark of 10 million copies! And today it seems funny, but then Moby and his manager prayed that "Play" sales would catch up with at least a few hundred thousand. Three singles were released in support of the disc, but they did not affect its promotion in any way. Radio stations refused to rotate the tracks, and music magazines refused to listen to them at all. Fortunately, an independent label Mute did not give up, even when almost a year had passed since the release. The company did its best to promote the "rejected" record, and it was to her Play owes its success.

Many years later, Moby gave an interview in which he admitted that he still does not understand how Play suddenly became popular. The disc really remained in the shadows for a long time, but today they talk about it as the most successful release of the American DJ. His next works could not beat the success of "Play", despite the fact that he himself Richard Hall treated them much more seriously in the process of creation.

Popularity Secret


Success Play unique and really surprising - at first nothing, and then all the laurels! In an interview Moby told how he had to play in the basement of a music store so that customers could hear his new album and maybe want to buy it. Sometimes he played for forty people, sometimes for ten.

The promotion also included appearances as the opening act for American rock bands. Then there was grief, a lot of alcohol, unconsciousness ... And then one fine day Richard the manager called and said: "We are number one in Britain!" Since then, the album's popularity has only grown.

Movies also played an important role in promoting the release. DJ agents literally bombarded advertising agencies and film studios with offers, which is why today many tracks from Play well known to listeners thanks to television.

"I just wanted to release tracks that I like and that my friends will probably like," commented Hall.



Today Play is the first album from which all tracks are licensed for use in films, television shows or commercials. The record influenced many artists, including the British singer Adele. One day she said:

“My mother introduced me to this record. I remember immediately thinking: “God, there is something unearthly in these tracks ...” Every time I listen to “Play”, I feel alive!”

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