by Moby

Album: Play (1999)
Charted: 5


  • This was released as the sixth single from Play.
  • The track featured Moby's vocals backed by a sample of vocalist Pilar Basso.
  • The song's popularity was enhanced by being featured on the soundtrack of the 2000 movie The Beach and in the UK it became Moby's highest charted song to date. Moby recalled to Rolling Stone: "Strangely enough, that's probably the most signature song on the record, and I actually had to be talked into including it. When I first recorded it, I thought it was average. I didn't like the way I produced it, I thought it sounded mushy, I thought my vocals sounded really weak. I couldn't imagine anyone else wanting to listen to it. When the tour for Play started, 'Porcelain' was the song during the set where most people would get a drink. But then Danny Boyle put it in the movie The Beach with Leo DiCaprio. It was Leo DiCaprio's first film since Titanic and everyone went to go see it. He used the music so well in the movie. I think that's when a lot of people became aware of the record."

Comments: 4

  • Troy from Oxford, MiMy girlfriend has it on her song rotation. So I asked her what is the song that sounds like they are saying Ye-ah! in an opium den? We couldn't figure it out for the longest time until it finally came up again.
  • Aleea from Bellevue(not The Hospital)This song will always make me tremble. I believe it to be about suicide. My daughters' ex-boyfriend called her, and then asked her to dinner. She was in another relationship, and declined. He took his own life a week later. We believe he wanted to say goodbye, or reach out for reasons not to.... It's a heartbreak.
  • Daniel from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaI love the way the extreme compression over the piano reef acts as a rytmic feature. Great!!!!
  • Adam from Centralia, Waamazing song, favorite by moby, no idea why people wouldnt like it, the little piano riffs are an amazing touch
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"They're Playing My Song

Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In Songs

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Guy Clark

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

Church Lyrics

Church LyricsMusic Quiz

Here is the church, here is the steeple - see if you can identify these lyrics that reference church.