The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes

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The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes
Studio album by Babylon Zoo
Released 12 February 1996
Recorded 1995
Genre Alternative rock
Space rock
Length 54:47
Label EMI
Producer Jas Mann
Steve Power
Babylon Zoo chronology
The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes
King Kong Groover
Singles from The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes
  1. "Spaceman"
    Released: 15 January 1996
  2. "Animal Army"
    Released: 15 April 1996
  3. "The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes"
    Released: 23 September 1996
Alternative cover
US edition cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[2]
Michigan Daily 2/5 stars[3]
New York Times (mixed)[4]
Select 2/5 stars[5]

The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes, released in February 1996, was the first album from Babylon Zoo. It peaked at number 6 in the album chart on 17 February,[6] but cascaded out of the Top 40, lasting only a further two weeks on the chart.[7] The album did not match the success of its first single "Spaceman" which charted at number 1.

Other singles released from the album were "Animal Army", which reached 17 in the charts, and "The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes", which reached 32.


The album received mixed reviews. Alternative Press awarded the album four stars out of five, equating to "Well Done". They remarked: "[T]he whole thing sounds like Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, remixed by the guys from the Underworld."[2] Neil Strauss of the New York Times described the album as "wonderful and satisfying in the short term but ultimately disposable." He did say, however that the highlight of the album is "Spaceman".[4]

The Michigan Daily described "Spaceman" as "one of the best of a bad lot." Adding: "it's hard to tell which is worse about Babylon Zoo - the turgid music or the dogmatic lyrics."[3] Stephen Thomas Erlewine at Allmusic, however went further by denouncing "Spaceman", saying: "it didn't have any tangible hook to make it memorable. And Babylon Zoo's debut album, The Boy With the X-Ray Eyes, suffers from the same problem...none of his songs ever gel and [Jas] Mann only sounds pretentious, not ambitious."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jas Mann.

  1. "Animal Army" – 5:55
  2. "Spaceman" – 5:41
  3. "Zodiac Sign" – 4:58
  4. "Paris Green" – 4:43
  5. "Confused Art" – 4:32
  6. "Caffeine" – 6:34
  7. "The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes" – 4:27
  8. "Don't Feed the Animals" – 1:38
  9. "Fire Guided Light" – 6:43
  10. "Is Your Soul for Sale?" – 5:52
  11. "I'm Cracking Up I Need a Pill" – 3:46

The album title comes from a moniker Jas Mann was given at school.

A CD promo sampler was also issued that includes the tracks "Spaceman", "Zodiac Sign", "Animal Army" and "I'm Cracking Up I Need a Pill".


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes - Allmusic review Allmusic
  2. ^ a b The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes review. Alternative Press. June 1996. p.69.
  3. ^ a b Phares, Heather (22 April 1996). "Babylon Zoo: The Boy With the X-Ray Eyes". Michigan Daily Google Books. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Strauss, Neil (26 March 1996). "CRITIC'S CHOICE/Pop CD's;Pushing Beyond Grunge". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Ian (February 1996). "New Albums". Select. p. 89. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 38. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "1996 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive - 9th March 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 June 2013.