Moby

Porcelain

Composed by Moby

Song Review by

Crackling noises layered over reversed synth chords at the beginning and end of "Porcelain" illustrate the homegrown nature of this recording; Moby tracked this song, and the rest of Play, in his Little Italy, NY, apartment. Sure, the noises could have been digitally removed, but they add character to this texture-rich song. A laid-back drum-machine pattern and strategically arranged music layers serve as the foundation to "Porcelain." Each verse adds on a new sound pattern -- be it choir-like chants, vocal samples, or a cello line -- and it's this layering technique that lends "Porcelain" its substance and momentum, even though the song is mid-tempo at best. Moby's layering is done ever so subtly that before you know it, the song climaxes and ends by returning to its beginning with the bare chords and crackling sounds. "Porcelain" could almost have been classified as an instrumental piece, however, Moby does sing a simple, but catchy, vocal line that repeats throughout: "I never meant to hurt you/I never meant to lie/So this is good-bye." His delicate and haunting delivery is a perfect complement for the instrumentation, which features ethereal synth washes and celestial piano hooks. What makes "Porcelain" such a groundbreaking recording is that it helped bring electronica music into the limelight. It was so well-received upon its release in 1999 that it enjoyed cross-format radio play and remains a genre-straddling phenomenon. The song was such a runaway hit, in fact, that it was also featured on a number of television commercials and resulted in a Moby media frenzy (the vegan artist was featured in publications from the New York Times to Spin).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Playing by Heart 1999
Original Soundtrack
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 3:53
Play 1999 BMG / Mute 4:02
The Beach [Original Soundtrack] 2000
Original Soundtrack
Sire 3:58
Play/Play: The B Sides 2000 V2 4:01
Essential Soundtracks: New Movie Collection 2000
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 4:00
Orbiting: Beautiful Chill out Grooves 1.0 2000
Various Artists
UBL Recordings / Street Beat Records 4:00
Porcelain 2000 Mute 3:32
Lebersart 2000
Various Artists
Edel Records 4:00
Trashed in Ibiza 2000
Various Artists
Global TV 4:05
Best Ibiza Anthems...Ever! 2000 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 5:26
Late Night Mix 2000
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:28
Various 02: Dancemusic: Modernlife 2000
Various Artists
V2 8:06
Film 2000 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:29
Plastic Compilation, Vol. 4 2000
Various Artists
Nettwerk America / Nettwerk 6:40
Big Hits 2000 2000
Various Artists
Import 4:01
Pepsi Chart 2001 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:31
Big Brother [Tips UK] 2000
Original Soundtrack
Import
Now That's What I Call Music! 46 [UK] 2000
Various Artists
Virgin/EMI 3:30
Yam! In Love 2001
Various Artists
BMG
Pure Moods, Vol. 3 2001
Various Artists
Virgin 3:31
Winter Chill, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Hed Kandi 4:01
Chilled: The Essential After Hours Session 2001
Various Artists
Beechwood Music
Best of Lounge, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Vegaz 3:57
The  Classic Chillout Album 2001
Various Artists
Epic / Sbme Special Mkts. 3:59
Sunday Morning [Wea International] 2001
Various Artists
WEA International 3:30
Best Ibiza Anthems...Ever! 2001 2001
Various Artists
Virgin
Chilled Spirit 2001
Various Artists
Warner/ESP / Sire 3:59
Karma Lounge [Echo] 2001
Various Artists
Echo 3:57
Sanremo 2001 2001
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:00
Pure Chillout 2002
Various Artists
Virgin 3:31
The Classic Chillout Album [1 Disc] 2002
Various Artists
Epic 3:59
Open Space: The Classic Chillout Album 2002
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Kharma Trilogy 2002
Various Artists
Dyn/Bar de Lune 3:58
Nu Skool Breaks 2002
Various Artists
Avanti Records
Electrical Lovers Presents: Chillout Lovers 2002
Various Artists
Toshiba EMI
E. Utopia: Future Sound of Deep Trance 2002
Various Artists
Tbc
Best of Buddha [Buddha Lounge] 2002
Various Artists
Bar de Lune
All Songs Considered, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
NPR Recordings / NPR National Public Radio 54:55
10 Years Later with Jools Holland 2002
Various Artists
WEA International
This Is the Best of Euphoric Trance 2002
Various Artists
Beechwood Music 4:03
Absolute Relaxed 2002
Various Artists
Eva 3:24
Bar Lounge Classics, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:31
Best of Euphoric Trance 2003
Various Artists
Best Of Records 4:02
Play/18 2003 EMI Music Distribution 4:01
18: The B-Sides 2003 V2
Pure Chillout Moods 2004
Various Artists
Beechwood Music 4:01
Best of Chillout Past and Present 2004
Various Artists
Nettwerk America / Nettwerk 3:58
Zen, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
This Is Techno [Water Music] 2004
Various Artists
Water Music Records 4:48
All Songs Considered: 4 CD Collection 2004
Various Artists
NPR National Public Radio 4:01
Cafe Ibiza, Vol. 4: The Ambient & Chill Out Album 2005
Various Artists
One Way Records 4:00
Cafe Ibiza Collectors Box, Vol. 2 2005
Various Artists
Globe UK 4:00
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Pias
Moby Live: Hotel Tour 2005 2006 EMI Music Distribution
Go: The Very Best of Moby 2006 BMG / Mute 3:30
The Ultimate Bands: The Classic Anthems 2006
Various Artists
EMI/Virgin TV
Moby Live: Hotel Tour 2006 [DVD/CD] 2006 Mute
No Image 2008 Mute
iTunes Live from Montreal 2010 EMI Music Distribution / Mute / Sony BMG 3:10
iTunes Festival: London 2011 2011 BMG / Mute 4:40
Almost Home: Live at the Fonda, LA 2014 Mute
Music from Porcelain 2016 Thrive Records 3:59
Love Lounge: The Very Best of Lounge, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Id&T
Nu Rock Traxx, Vol. 14
Various Artists
Erg
Promo Only: Modern Rock (May 2000)
Various Artists
Promo Only
Q 2000: Best Tracks from the Best Albums of 2000
Various Artists
4:01
Vol. 2-MTV Lounge
Various Artists
Phantom Records (England)
blue highlight denotes editor's pick