Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Moby still believes in the album


I loved reading this email from Moby tonight, sent to Bob Lefsetz. I'm that certain kind of music fan who still avoids contact with the singles so that I can hear the album for the first time as a whole album....even if it is U2 or Springsteen. And I'm also someone that often loves the albums that didn't sell that many copies, the albums that not nearly enough people heard.

Here's a little not-so-secret-secret for you all....those albums, are often the best ones. The ones that got away. And if you don't have a list of those albums, you really need to start expanding your musical collection. Just don't expand it as much as I have....all of this stuff takes up a lot of room!

It's inspiring to read stuff like this from Moby that are doing what they do, for the right reasons. He completely nailed it.

By the way, I love that there are still people like Moby trying to make music that sounds cool in the headphones! Total bliss.

Read on....

yup, it's me from danbury/darien/stratford/storrs/stamford connecticut (my mom and i got around a bit).
the new record is melodic and fairly mournful.
lots of strings and very open and spacious.
see, i had a quasi-epiphany last year when i heard david lynch talking about creativity (and forgive me if this sounds new age or hokey).
he talked about how creativity in and of itself is great, and i realized that he was right.
and i realized that, ideally, the market should accomodate art, but that art shouldn't accomodate the market.
i know, it sounds idealistic.
i had been trying to make myself happy and make radio happy and make the label happy and make press happy and etc.
and it made me miserable.
and i also don't really aspire to selling too many records.
see, my friends who are writers sell 20,000 books and they're happy.
my friends who are theater directors sell 5,000 tickets during a run and they're happy.
i like the idea of humble and reasonable metrics for determining the success of a record.
and i like the idea of respecting the sacred bond that exists between musician and listener.
again, i know this sounds hokey, but it's where i am at present.
i also really like records. i know that 90% of the people who listen to my music download individual tracks, which is fine, but i want to make cohesive albums in the hope that someone might listen to them from start to finish.
for even one person to make the effort to listen to music that i've made is pretty remarkable, and i need to be humble and respectful in the face of that.
some people can be larger than life rockstars, and i love them, but i'm just a bald jerk who makes music in his bedroom and hopes that someone might listen to it.
oh, i also mixed/produced the album (it's called 'wait for me') in a very old-timey way, with extreme stereo panning and analog reverbs, etc.
it sounds AMAZING in headphones, if i do say so myself.

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  • Dave C.

    I’m not a huge Moby fan, but I’ve always liked the music I’ve heard by him. Moreover, he’s an interesting guy and I’ll always read an interview with him. That said, I’m reminded of the attacks on him by Eminem. Whatever happened to that goober? Talk about a guy that flamed out. Moby’s comments about creativity and the parameters of success are insightful…Oh, yeah, I pretty much only listen to albums from start to finish rather than simply individual cuts.

  • Matt Wardlaw


    I’m not really a fan myself…but after reading what he wrote, I want to hear this album. I’m with you…I’ll always read an interview with him, when I see it…

    Had forgotten about the Eminem stuff – He’s back with new material, and the reactions I’ve heard to it so far, aren’t too flattering.

  • Jon Fritz

    i still believe in the “album”, but when was the last time u heard an album where most EVERY song was great– not just good?

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Jon, That’s anybody’s opinion…but personally, from last year, I’d put the following albums out there as my choices that fit your above definition:

    Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers
    Gary Louris – Vagabonds (former Jayhawks frontman)
    Metallica – Death Magnetic
    Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch

    And I think that these come close:

    Sheryl Crow – Detours
    Shinedown – The Sound of Madness

    Just to name a few.

    An album like Jakob Dylan’s solo album last year completely missed with me…and yet I know a lot of folks that liked that one.

    Individual taste, I guess…but I think there are still plenty of great albums out there for music fans.

    And not enough time to hear them all….

  • Narm

    I have a weird problem where I can only listen to full albums. I never buy single songs on iTunes or make mix CD’s. My idea of “shuffling” is putting a few albums by similar artists together and hitting shuffle.

    This is the music elitist in me – but if you are listening to the right artists you shouldn’t be able to imagine hearing a song without the song before and after it.

    While I don’t think it is their best work, the Drive-by Truckers recently released an 18-song album that is completely and totally based around the vinyl experience. The songs are in 5-6 song packs that intro, climax and summarize – almost like 3 mini albums in one. It is a musical experience – not a ringtone. It’s how music is supposed to be listened to.

  • pocahontas

    This album is so moving and beautiful. I think Moby has done some very ground breaking things musically and as an artist. Very courageous.