Spaceman (Babylon Zoo song)

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"Spaceman"
Single by Babylon Zoo
from the album The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes
B-side "Blue Nude"
"Metal Vision"
"5th Dimension Remix"
"E Before I Remix"
Released 31 December 1995 (UK)
15 January 1996 (U.S.)
Format CD, Cassette, 12"
Recorded 1995
Genre Space rock
Alternative rock
Length 5:41 (album version)
Label EMI
Writer(s) Jas Mann
Producer(s) Jas Mann
Steve Power
Arthur Baker
Babylon Zoo singles chronology
"Spaceman"
(1995)
"Animal Army"
(1996)

"Spaceman" is the début single by British band Babylon Zoo, taken from the album The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes. Featuring heavily distorted guitars and metallic, robotic-sounding vocals, it went straight to Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart on 21 January 1996 after being featured in a popular Levi's jeans TV advert in late 1995. The band's subsequent releases failed to repeat its success.[1]

The song was the seventh to reach number one after being featured in a Levi advert.[2]

Song history[edit]

Promotional copies of "Spaceman" had been distributed, and the Arthur Baker remix was chosen to tie in with the release on 1 December 1995 of a new UK Levi's jeans TV advert titled "Planet" which was directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton.[3] The advertisement concentrated on Baker's speeded-up vocal section at the beginning and end of the song.[4]

The initial intro to "Spaceman" on the promotional copies, before it was used for the advert, featured Mann's whispering vocals of "I killed your mother, I killed your sister, I killed you all."[4] These lyrics were later taken out of the song and replaced with the more radio-friendly Arthur Baker introduction; although, the "I killed you all" lyric is still buried in the song. There was a lower budget video made for this version.[citation needed]

In 2006 "Spaceman" featured on trailers for Ant and Dec's film Alien Autopsy, the BBC's children's channel, CBeebies for the animated pre-school series Lunar Jim, and Network Ten's advertisement for Battlestar Galactica. "Spaceman" is also used in Eesti otsib superstaari (Pop Idol Estonia). "Spaceman" is also featured in E4's My Mad Fat Diary in the episode "Ladies and Gentlemen" during the scene where Rae and Finn begin their drive to Knebworth.[citation needed]

Chart performance and sales[edit]

The single charted at no. 1 in the UK Singles Chart,[5] selling 420,000 copies in its first week.[6][7] It became the fastest-selling UK single in over thirty years since The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love".[8] "Spaceman" became a number one chart hit in 23 countries including the UK.[9] As of November 2012, "Spaceman" was the 74th best-selling single in UK history, selling 1.14 million copies.[10]

Reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called the song a "bizarre, tuneless collage of hip-hop rhythms, techno keyboards and alternative guitars", that "didn't have any tangible hook to make it memorable".[11] Chuck Eddy at Entertainment Weekly described the song's "futuristic kitsch" as "both funny and seductive."[12]

MTV UK ranked "Spaceman" as the #24 single of the 1990s.[13]

Cover versions[edit]

Track listings[edit]

CD Promo Single 1995 WEA (YZ925CDDJ)
  1. "Spaceman" (radio version) — 3:50
  2. "Spaceman" (Arthur meets the spaceman) — 5:56
CD Promo 1995 EMI (CDEMDJ 416)
  1. "Spaceman" (radio edit) - 4.08
7" Single
  1. "Spaceman" (radio edit) — 4:08
  2. "Spaceman" (the 5th dimension) — 5:09
CD Single 1996 EMI (CDEM 416)
  1. "Spaceman" (radio edit) — 4:08
  2. "Metal Vision" — 3:48
  3. "Blue Nude" — 2:09
  4. "Spaceman" (the 5th dimension) — 5:09
CD Single ('The Only Original Remixes') 1996 EMI (7243 8 82721 2 4)
  1. "Spaceman" (radio edit) — 4:08
  2. "Spaceman" (the 5th dimension) — 5:09
  3. "Spaceman" (Arthur meets the spaceman) — 5:56
  4. "Spaceman" (E before I) — 6:37

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Jesus to a Child" by George Michael
Irish IRMA number-one single
13 January 1996 – 10 February 1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis
UK Singles Chart number-one single
21 January 1996 – 24 February 1996
Preceded by
"Gangsta's paradise" by Coolio
Swedish number-one single
26 January 1996 – 15 March 1996 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"One of Us" by Joan Osborne
Preceded by
"Jesus to a Child" by George Michael
Finnish number-one single
5/1996 - 9/1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Born in Africa" by Dr. Alban
Preceded by
"Missing (Todd Terry remix)" by Everything but the Girl
German number-one single
16 February 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Lemon Tree" by Fool's Garden
Preceded by
"Knockin'" by Double Vision
Belgian (Flanders) number-one single
17 February 1996 – 24 February 1996 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Con te partirò" by Andrea Bocelli
Preceded by
"Gangsta's paradise" by Coolio
Ö3 Austria Top 40 number-one single
18 February 1996 – 10 March 1996 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Lemon Tree" by Fool's Garden
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
24 February 1996 – 16 March 1996 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Children" by Robert Miles
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
9 March 1996 – 16 March 1996 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Children" by Robert Miles
French SNEP number-one single
9 March 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Soirée disco" by Boris

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spaceman band falls back to earth". Sunday Mercury. The Free Library. 9 May 1999. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "I was a sex symbol the moment I popped out of the womb". Daily Record. The Free Library. 23 January 1996. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Rock of Ages". Liverpool Echo Archived at The Free Library. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sloan, Nicola (6 January 2013). "Babylon Zoo". morethanthemusic.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Official Charts: Babylon Zoo - Singles". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "For The Record". The Mirror Archived at The Free Library. 20 March 2002. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Entertainment - Will Blur spear Britney?". BBC. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Krewen, Nick (23 May 1996). "The keeper of Babylon Zoo". Toronto Star. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Babylon Zoo". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". The Guardian. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  11. ^ The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes review. AllMusic.
  12. ^ Eddy, Chuck (12 April 1996). "Music Review - Spaceman (1996)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  13. ^ The Official Top 100 Singles of The 90's
  14. ^ "My week: Katie Melua". The Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2006
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Spaceman", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 5 January 2009)
  16. ^ "Hits of the World: Denmark (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research)". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 108 (13): 55. 30 March 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  17. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1996" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Babylon Zoo singles, German Singles Chart" (in German). musicline. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  19. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved 5 January 2009)
  20. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: B". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  21. ^ "1996 Australian Singles Chart". aria. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  22. ^ "1996 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "1996 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "1996 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "1996 French Singles Chart" (in French). Disqueenfrance. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "1996 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Swisscharts. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  27. ^ Austrian certifications ifpi.at (Retrieved 5 January 2009)
  28. ^ French certifications Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved 5 January 2009)
  29. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Spaceman')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  30. ^ Swedish certifications Ifpi.se (Retrieved 5 January 2009)
  31. ^ UK certifications Bpi.co.uk (Retrieved 5 January 2009)
  32. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 

External links[edit]