Babylon Zoo

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Babylon Zoo
Origin Wolverhampton, England, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock, space rock, industrial rock, glam rock
Years active 1992–2000
Labels Phonogram Records, WEA, EMI
Past members Jas Mann
Carrie Melbourne
Dave Goodes
Darrin Mooney

Babylon Zoo were a British rock band formed in 1992 in Wolverhampton, England. They are best known for the song "Spaceman", which gained considerable exposure through its use in a popular Levi's jeans TV advert in the United Kingdom in late 1995. Released as the band's début single on 21 January 1996, it went straight to the top of the UK Singles Chart.[1] "Spaceman" cemented the band's legacy as a one hit wonder, and with little follow-up success, the band became largely forgotten.[2]

Career[edit]

Frontman Jas Mann had formerly been in an indie music band, called The Sandkings. In 1993, a three-track demo earned him a contract from Phonogram Records for his next project, Babylon Zoo.[2]

The band's first single was the song "Spaceman" which had appeared on a Levi's jeans TV advert. Levi's used "Spaceman" for a UK TV ad after hearing the song on a Manchester radio station. It became the fastest-selling single in the UK since The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love".[3] The single sold 420,000 copies in the first week of release,[4][5] spending 5 weeks at number 1.[6]

An album entitled The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes was produced at Mann's New Atlantis Productions music/artwork/video centre. It peaked at #6 on the UK Albums Chart on 17 February,[1] but dropped out of the Top 40, lasting only a further two weeks on the chart.[7] Subsequent singles charted progressively lower, failing to match the success of "Spaceman".[6] The band's reputation was further damaged by a series of "scathing" live reviews.[8]

In 1999, a follow-up album was released, King Kong Groover. The album received mixed reviews and sold only 10,000 units,[8] failing to chart in the UK. The singles from the album were "All The Money's Gone", which was released in the UK and Europe and peaked at number forty six on the UK Charts. The second single, a cover of Mott the Hoople's "Honaloochie Boogie", was only released as a promotional single in France.[9] The group disbanded shortly after and Mann moved to India where he spent time working for an aid agency.[10]

In 2005, Jas Mann announced he would be issuing a new Babylon Zoo album, called Cold Clockwork Doll, though no official release date was ever announced, and now appears to be cancelled due to no further information or updates on it almost a decade after the announcement.[10][11]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Released UK Albums Chart[1]
The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes February 1996 #6
King Kong Groover February 1999

Singles[edit]

Year Song UK Singles Chart[1] Album
1995 "Spaceman" #1 The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes
1996 "Animal Army" #17
"The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes" #32
1999 "All the Money's Gone" #46 King Kong Groover
"Honaloochie Boogie" Promo released (France only)
2000 "Love Lies Bleeding" Internet-only release

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 38. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ a b Sutton, Michael. "Babylon Zoo Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Krewen, Nick (23 May 1996). "The keeper of Babylon Zoo". Toronto Star. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "For The Record". The Mirror Archived at The Free Library. 20 March 2002. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Entertainment - Will Blur spear Britney?". BBC. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Official Charts: Babylon Zoo - Singles". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "1996 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 9th March 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Spaceman band falls back to earth". Sunday Mercury. The Free Library. 9 May 1999. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Babylon Zoo– Honaloochie Boogie
  10. ^ a b Where Are They Now?
  11. ^ Edden, John (21 April 2011). "Whatever happened to... Babylon Zoo". altsound.com. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 

External links[edit]