Robert Steven Moore (born January 18, 1952) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. In addition to having numerous albums released on labels around the world, the prolific Moore has self-released over 400 cassette and CD-R albums since 1968, as well as dozens of home videos, mostly through the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club, a home-based label. His eclectic work incorporates a variety of musical styles, both popular and experimental. From 1978 to November 2010, Moore lived and recorded in his apartment studios in Montclair, New Jersey, and then Bloomfield, New Jersey, before relocating to his native Nashville in December 2010. He is the oldest son of Bob Moore, veteran Nashville A-Team bassist, producer, and orchestra leader, as well as a longtime sideman for Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and many others.
In February 2005, newspaper writer Tammy LaGorce praised Moore, dubbing him a "lo-fi legend" in the New York Times
Moore, born in Nashville, Tennessee, made his commercial recording debut inadvertently at age seven, an overdub session his father set up, singing a duet with Jim Reeves entitled "But You Love Me, Daddy" in 1959. The novelty song went unreleased for 10 years, when it became a hit single in the UK on the RCA Victor label in 1969.
Moore is proficient on guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, and songwriting. In 1966, he began pursuing what would become his lifelong passion, home recording as a one-man band, using reel-to-reel tape decks set up in his parents' basement in suburban Madison. In 1967, he formed a casual group with school friends, The Marlborough (a rock combo). He also began working for his father as a studio musician, and as an assistant at Mimosa Music, his father's music publishing company.
After dropping out of Vanderbilt University in 1971 to pursue the lifestyle of a one-man band rock artist, Moore later had built up enough material to issue his home-recorded 1976 debut album Phonography on his uncle Harry "H.P." Palmer's HP Music label. The initial run was limited to 100 pressings. New York's Trouser Press magazine gave the obscure album rave reviews, calling it "an outrageous collection of musical brain spewage" and "a true slash of genius" in its December 1977 issue. Moore moved from Nashville to New Jersey shortly afterwards, his uncle then releasing two further vinyl collections, the Stance EP, and second album Delicate Tension in 1978 (Moore's prolific home tape releases continuing at the same time).
In 1996 "Phonography" was listed among "the fifty most significant indie records" in Rolling Stone's Alt-Rock-A-Rama.
1980 saw an important tape release, Clack, this time recorded "professionally" in midtown Manhattan. In 1981, Moore made a timely decision to invent the RSM Cassette Club as an outlet for his vast home-recorded work, making available on the newly-popular format all of his original reel-to-reel master tapes stretching back to 1968, each listed with a 'listenability quotient' rating from 1 to 10.
The next LP release was 1984's What's The Point?!! and in the same year Paris' New Rose Records issued a double album compilation, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About R Stevie Moore But Were Afraid To Ask. The label described Moore as "one of the best songwriters of all time". Everything proved briefly popular in France, with a single "Chantilly Lace" from the album becoming a minor sleeper hit there, and prompting Moore to undertake a promotional visit to the country, where he was welcomed with awesome adulation, and caught a small "press-buzz". Further albums followed in the 80s, including Verve, Glad Music (this time recorded in a professional 16-track studio), (1952-19??), and Teenage Spectacular (described by Moore then as "the most enjoyable project of my career".
During the 1980s Moore appeared sporadically on the Uncle Floyd TV show, a tongue-in-cheek, public-access style clown, puppet and variety show that broadcast out of New Jersey, often providing comedic relief through his quirky vision and snarky comebacks.
Moore was an early on-air personality at WFMU, an independent free-form radio station out of New Jersey.
Around 1988, Moore started working in home video, and he is now very active on YouTube and MySpace.
The advent of CD-R as a medium for self-issued music brought new enthusiasm for his home recording, and in 1999 the cassette club became the "R. Stevie Moore CDR Club" (CDRSMCLUB).
In 2002 Moore recorded an album with Half Japanese frontman Jad Fair, titled FairMoore, described as "a lovely, heartfelt effort that shows both in top form" by Dave Mandl, who stated that it "brings together two fiercely original figures in the American music underground", the album consisting of Fair reciting his poetry over Moore's instrumental backing.
Throughout the 2000s Moore continued to license material for official CDs released on various independent labels around the world: UK punk and reissue label Cherry Red put out two well-distributed compilations. Moore has also worked on numerous mail collaborations with a wide array of international underground artists such as Terry Burrows (aka Yukio Yung), Ariel Pink, Mike Watt, Jason Falkner, Eric Matthews, Penn Jillette, Dr. Dog, Ergo Phizmiz, Mark Vidler, David Fenech, MGMT, Lane Steinberg and others.
Recently, the music blogsite www.sickoftheradio.com has created an extensive new Moore online tribute project, Copy Me, inviting and consisting of various underground and DIY artists submitting their own cover versions of his songs for free download compilations.
To close out 2010, Moore decided to return to his hometown of Nashville to continue his recording and performing career.
In 2011, Moore embarked on his first ever tour, primarily playing shows in cities in the Midwestern United States.
- Phonography (1976) Vital, (1978) H.P. Music, (1998) Flamingo, (2009) Recommended, (2010) Sundazed
- Delicate Tension (1978) H.P. Music, (2004) Cordelia
- Everything (1984) New Rose
- What's The Point?!! (1984) Cuneiform
- Verve (1985) Hamster
- Glad Music (1986) New Rose
- R. Stevie Moore (1952-19??) (1987) Cordelia
- Teenage Spectacular (1987) New Rose
- Warning (1988) New Rose
- Thoroughly Years (Phonography 2) (1989) Hamster
- Has-Beens and Never-Weres (1990) Heliotrope
- Greatesttits (1990) Fan Club
- Contact Risk (1993) Fruit Of The Tune
- Revolve (1995) Pink Lemon
- Objectivity (with Yukio Yung) (1997) JAR Music
- The Future Is Worse Than The Past (1999) Megaphon
- Dates (with Dave Gregory) (1999) - (self-released)
- FairMoore (with Jad Fair) (2002) Old Gold
- Hundreds of Hiding Places (2002) Megaphon
- Hobbies Galore (His Best 24) (2003) Lost Frog (mp3)
- Nevertheless Optimistic (2003) Innova
- Tra La La La Phooey! (2004) Comfort Stand (mp3)
- The Yung and Moore Show Vs. The Whole Goddam Stinkin' World (with Yukio Yung) (2006) Orgone
- Disorganized Overactivity Or Tabitha Soren (2006) Forty-Seven (mp3)
- Meet The R. Stevie Moore (2008) Cherry Red
- Special Needs (2008) Park the Van (mp3)
- Me Too (2009) Cherry Red
- Advanced (2011) Eye Tombs
- "Roger Ferguson and Ethos" (1973) Basic Sounds Ltd.
- Four From Phonography EP (1977) H.P. Music
- Stance EP (1978) H.P. Music
- "Goodbye Piano"/"I Wish I Could Sing" (1978) Flamingo
- "New Wave"/"Same" (1979) Classass Music Industries
- "Chantilly Lace" + "Teen Routines"/"Bloody Knuckles" (1984) New Rose
- "I Hate People"/"Everyone But Everyone" (1992) Singles Only Label
- "U.R. True" + 3 (2009) Felony Fidelity