Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Forgotten Gem: Babylon Zoo - 'Spaceman'

If the name Babylon Zoo sounds familiar, you might recall a certain Levi's commercial from 1996 which featured a chipmunked Sci-fi dance track.

The song was called 'Spaceman,' and the success of the advertisement sent it rocketing to the #1 spot in England - where it sold a million copies and still ranks among the fastest selling debut singles in history. Surprisingly, not too many people remember the band for all of its one-hit wonder status.

Babylon Zoo, a.k.a. Jas Mann, had recorded 'Spaceman' in its original industrial-glam style, but it wasn't until after the single had been remixed to warp speed by producer Arthur Baker that people began to really take notice. Levi's contacted the band about using the remix for a new jeans ad, and eventually came to an agreement. The band then rereleased the single, adding the famously sped-up introduction, and it soared from there.

I'm sure many who bought the single were disappointed to find that the "chipmunk song" was merely a small portion of the actual track. When compared to the high-octane intro, the rest of the song's tempo simply crashes.

I played 'Spaceman' repeatedly in the mid-90s, but eventually shelved it once the initial novelty wore off. However, upon recently rediscovering it in my collection, I must admit I've had a tough time keeping the song out of my rotation.

'Spaceman' goes from 100 to zero, and then slowly trudges it's way back up to the point of rocking out again. The dynamic shifts throughout this extraterrestrial single have always managed to pique my curiosity.

Babylon Zoo - 'Spaceman'


Unknown said...

embarassingly bad lyrics, but i, too remember finding this song again a few years ago and putting it on loop until i got it out of my system. someone needs to sample it or something and revamp it cause it really is a bit of a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

i totally remember jamming out to this song when we were...11? i didn't remember the commercial however. wasn't it in a movie?