Babylon Zoo were an English rock band formed in 1992 in Wolverhampton, England. Their song “Spaceman” gained considerable exposure through its use in a Levi’s jeans television advert in the United Kingdom in late 1995. Released as the band’s debut single on 21 January 1996, it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one. They had little success with any subsequent releases.
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, but ended up being signed to Warner’s WEA record label where the band recorded the album The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes. However around this time Clive Black, the Managing Director of Warner’s, was poached by rival record company EMI and so took Babylon Zoo over to EMI.
“Spaceman” is a song by the British rock band Babylon Zoo, released in January 1996 as the lead single from their debut album, The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes (1996). Featuring heavily distorted guitars and metallic, robotic sounding vocals, it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one on 21 January 1996, after being featured in a popular Levi’s jeans television advertisement in December 1995.
“Spaceman” was the sixth song to reach number one in the UK after being featured in an advert for Levi’s.
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 United Kingdom Levi’s advertisement titled “Planet”, which was directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton. The advertisement concentrated on Baker’s sped-up vocal section at the beginning and end of the song, featuring an alien neighborhood inspired by the 1950s with alien parents waiting the return of their teen daughter. Russian model Kristina Semenovskaya played the daughter, wearing Levi’s jeans.
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.” These lyrics were later taken out of the song and replaced with the more radio friendly Arthur Baker introduction. The “I killed you all” lyric remains buried in the mix. There was a lower budget video made for this version.
In 2006, “Spaceman” featured on trailers for Ant and Dec’s film Alien Autopsy, the BBC’s children’s channel, CBeebies for the animated preschool 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.