“Natural Blues” by Moby
The vocals on Moby’s “Natural Blues” are derived from an early 20th century song that reads a lot like a spiritual or, as title states, the blues.
The vocalist possesses “trouble so hard” alright. And as for the spiritual aspect, she is confident that “nobody know(s)” the depth of her worries “but God” Himself.
Also the first verse implies that perhaps she has found some relief via some type of spiritual experience. And concerning what has her bent out of shape in the first, well at the center of her melancholy would obviously be the fact that her ‘brother is dead’, as revealed in the second verse.
So it is not abundantly clear what the “natural” designation of this song is intended to point to. But perhaps what Moby is saying in that regard is that these types of deep depressions are sort of an intrinsic, unavoidable aspect of being, as with death itself.
Release of “Natural Blues”
On May 17th, 1999, “Natural Blues” became the 5th single from Moby’s iconic “Play” album.
Writing and Production of “Natural Blues”
Moby wrote this song. However, he doesn’t receive sole writing credits. And this is because he received assistance from Vera Hall and Alan Lomax in the writing process.
However, Moby receives sole production credits as he produced the song himself.
“Natural Blues” at the Grammys
“Natural Blues” was nominated for “Best Dance Recording” at the Annual Grammy Awards in the year 2000. However, Moby lost this award to Baha Men’s classic song “Who Let the Dogs Out?”. Below are the other songs that competed for that award:
- US – 24
- UK – 3
- Scotland – 7
- Ireland – 2
- Iceland – 1
- France – 9
- Belgium – 5
The “Play” Album
Moby released the electronic song Natural Blues, a sampled song of Vera Hall’s 1937 folk song Trouble So Hard, in March 1999. The song was the fifth single on Moby’s fifth studio album, Play.
Play was released on May 17, 1999, globally by Mute Records except for North America, where V2 Records were responsible for its release. Moby recorded the entire album in his room studio, at his residence in Manhattan, New York. He has described that the recording was done there because he intended Play to be the last album of his career.
The album gave Moby a huge international audience and garnered incredible commercial success and recognition for electronic music. In addition, it was received with a wide general positive reception from music critics. For example, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it twice (2003, 2012) at number 341 on their publication of the list of the greatest 500 albums of all time.
Play topped the album charts of about six European countries, ranked in the top 30 albums of more than 15 countries, and peaked at number 38 on America’s Billboard 200 chart. Furthermore, it has received multiple platinum certifications from over 20 countries. In addition, the album broke the record for the all-time highest-selling electronica album, where it surpassed 12 million copies of sales globally.
It’s important to state that “Play” also birthed Moby’s classic hit song “Porcelain“.