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Spaceman band falls back to earth.

BABYLON Zoo's Spaceman became the UK's fastest selling debut single of all time in 1996.

In just one week 500,000 copies were sold after it was featured as the soundtrack for a jeans advert. The song went on to top the charts in another 22 countries.

But if the sudden success was a surprise to most, it wasn't to flamboyant lead singer/songwriter Jas Mann.

He penned the futuristic tune in an upstairs bedroom of his parents' Wolverhampton home - and knew it was destined for number one.

Jas, speaking just after the single topped the charts, said: "I was expecting this success.

"A racing driver knows when he's got the best car - and I know I've done something that's far superior to most things out there.

"I'm a great songwriter and I could become a musical genius."

However, despite the boasts Spaceman Jas, born in Dudley, soon came crashing down to earth.

His follow-up single, The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes, bombed and his band's reputation was further damaged with a series of scathing live reviews.

Babylon Zoo's second album, King King Groover, was released three months ago but it has been slated by critics and has, so far, sold less than 10,000 copies.

A music insider said: "Sales figures for King Kong Groover have been a disaster. Basically, the album has flopped because the music isn't good enough.

"Jas is trying to be new and radical but, instead, sounds like a poor man's David Bowie.

"It was always going to be difficult to top Spaceman - and now it looks impossible."

A spokesman for EMI, Jas's record company, refused to speculate on his long-term future. She said: "It's not EMI policy to talk about record sales."
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 9, 1999
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