25 O'Clock

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25 O'Clock
Dukes 25oclock.jpg
Studio album by XTC as The Dukes of Stratosphear
Released 1 April 1985
Recorded December 1984
Chapel Lane Studios, Hereford, England
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 26:43
Label Virgin Records
Producer John Leckie, Swami Anand Nagara and The Dukes
XTC as The Dukes of Stratosphear chronology
The Big Express
25 O'Clock
Singles from 25 O'Clock
  1. "The Mole from the Ministry"
    Released: April 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Pitchfork (7.7/10) [2]

25 O'Clock is a mini-album from XTC which was released under their pseudonym The Dukes of Stratosphear, and is their eighth studio album. Joined by XTC member Dave Gregory's brother Ian on drums, the Dukes indulged in the stylistic tropes of 1960s psychedelia, particularly the British variety.


Released on April Fool's Day 1985, the mini-album was a tongue-in-cheek homage to the heyday of psychedelic rock. Several of the tracks were made to sound like individual bands (like the Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd sound of "Bike Ride to the Moon"). Others were simply a pastiche of the styles of the period as a whole. Though recorded on contemporary 1980s equipment, the mixing and overdubs closely replicate production techniques used in the mid-to-late 1960s. The album is also notable for its cover art (designed by Partridge) which resembled the cover on the 1967 LP Disraeli Gears by Cream.

The band issued a single and made a promotional film for "The Mole from the Ministry". The film contains visual references to Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles and the promotional films for "Arnold Layne" and "The Scarecrow" by Pink Floyd.

The material on the 25 O'Clock mini-album (including the "hidden message" at the end of side two) was merged with the 1987 album Psonic Psunspot for release as Chips from the Chocolate Fireball: An Anthology on CD, simultaneous with Psonic Psunspot's vinyl release.

A remastered and expanded version of 25 O'Clock was released on 20 April 2009 by Andy Partridge's Ape House record label. This edition of 25 O'Clock is credited to "XTC as The Dukes of Stratosphear"

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Sir John Johns, except where noted.

LP: WOW 1[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "25 O'Clock"     5:01
2. "Bike Ride to the Moon"     2:24
3. "My Love Explodes"     3:54
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "What in the World??..."   The Red Curtain 5:01
2. "Your Gold Dress"     4:38
3. "The Mole from the Ministry"     5:50

CD: APECD023[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "25 O'Clock"     5:02
2. "Bike Ride to the Moon"     2:23
3. "My Love Explodes"     3:48
4. "What in the World??..."   The Red Curtain 5:00
5. "Your Gold Dress"     4:41
6. "The Mole from the Ministry"     5:49
7. "25 O'Clock (Demo)"     2:25
8. "Bike Ride to the Moon (Demo)"     1:30
9. "My Love Explodes (Demo)"     1:54
10. "What in the World??... (Demo)"   Curtain 3:40
11. "Nicely Nicely Jane (Demo)"     1:17
12. "Susan Revolving (Demo)"     1:24
13. "Black Jewelled Serpent of Sound (Radio Caroline Edit)"     2:17
14. "Open a Can of Human Beans"     4:44
15. "Tin Toy Clockwork Train"     3:17

Also includes the promotional video for "The Mole from the Ministry" as a QuickTime file.



  • Produced by John Leckie, Swami Anand Nagara and The Dukes

Other versions[edit]

On the tribute album A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC, American alternative rock band They Might Be Giants contributed a cover version of "25 O'Clock".


  1. ^ Cater, Evan. "Review: The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Dahlen, Chris. "Review: The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 June 2011.