Five O'Clock World

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"Five O'Clock World"
Single by The Vogues
from the album Five O'Clock World
B-side "Nothing to Offer You"
Released November 1965
Genre Rock
Length 2:19
Label Co & Ce
Writer(s) Allen Reynolds
Producer(s) Nick Cenci / Tony Moon
The Vogues singles chronology
"You're the One"
(1965)
Five O'Clock World
(1965)
"Magic Town"
(1966)
"Five O'Clock World"
Single by Hal Ketchum
from the album Past the Point of Rescue
Released May 25, 1992
Genre Country
Length 3:02
Label Curb
Producer(s) Allen Reynolds, Jim Rooney
Hal Ketchum singles chronology
"Past the Point of Rescue"
(1992)
"Five O'Clock World"
(1992)
"Sure Love"
(1992)

"Five O'Clock World" (also known as "5 O'Clock World") is a song written by Allen Reynolds and recorded by American vocal group The Vogues. It reached number 1 on WLS on 17 December 1965 and 7 January 1966, number 1 in Canada on the RPM singles chart on 10 January 1966 (their first of two chart-toppers there that year, followed by "Magic Town" in April), and number 4 in the U.S. on the Hot 100 on 15–22 January 1966 and is one of The Vogues' best-known hits, along with "You're The One".

Content[edit]

The song is sung from the point of view of an urban worker who does not enjoy his job but looks forward every day to 5:00 P.M. (the end of the work day for a traditional "nine-to-five" worker), the time at which he goes home to see his girlfriend (or wife).

Arrangement[edit]

The Vogues recording begins with a repeating modal figure on 12-string acoustic guitar (the sound reminiscent of medieval chanson, or contemporaries The Byrds), and swings into stride with a low brass drone, and work-song shouts drenched in reverb. The baritone lead vocal by Bill Burkette is punctuated by counter-melodies and harmonies from the group and rises to a lilting yodel after the chorus, with crescendoing string instruments throughout, in anticipation of the after-work freedom promised in the lyric. The sound of a piano is heard, descending the scale, during the yodel. The sound of the other members of the Vogues can be heard repeating the word "HEY!!". The instrumental track was a demo brought in by producer Tony Moon, cut at RCA Studio B in Nashville. The vocal was then overdubbed in Pittsburgh at Co & Ce studios, with label co-head Nick Cenci.[1]

Cover versions[edit]

Country singer Hal Ketchum covered the song on his 1991 album Past the Point of Rescue (which the song's writer, Allen Reynolds, co-produced with Jim Rooney) and released it as a single. The song peaked at number 16 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 1992. It was also covered by Bowling for Soup as a bonus track on some editions of their album Bowling for Soup Goes to the Movies.[2] Julian Cope also released a cover of the song in 1989 on his album My Nation Underground; Cope changed several of the lyrics and added in a section from the Petula Clark song "I Know a Place." (Both songs were released in 1965.)

In popular culture[edit]

"Five O'Clock World" was used in the soundtrack to the 1987 movie Good Morning, Vietnam.,[3] also in the soundtrack to the 2003 movie Big Fish, and was heavily featured on The Drew Carey Show as its opening theme song during the second season. Various other covers of the song—including the Bowling for Soup-recorded version—were used as the show's theme from 2002 to 2004.

Chart positions[edit]

The Vogues[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
position
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 4
Preceded by
"Flowers on the Wall" by The Statler Brothers
Canadian RPM number-one single
January 10, 1966 (one week)
Succeeded by
"No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)" by The T-Bones

Hal Ketchum[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 21
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 16

References[edit]