25 O'Clock

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25 O'Clock
Dukes 25oclock.jpg
Studio album (mini-LP) by The Dukes of Stratosphear
Released 1 April 1985
Recorded December 1984
Studio Chapel Lane Studios, Hereford, England
Genre Psychedelic rock, avant-pop[1]
Length 26:43
Label Virgin Records
Producer John Leckie, Swami Anand Nagara and The Dukes
XTC chronology
The Big Express
(1984)The Big Express1984
25 O'Clock
Singles from 25 O'Clock
  1. "The Mole from the Ministry" / "My Love Explodes"
    Released: April 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [2]
Pitchfork (7.7/10) [3]

25 O'Clock is the debut album by English rock band the Dukes of Stratosphear, side project of XTC, released in 1985. Also counted as XTC's eighth studio album, the Dukes indulged in the stylistic tropes of 1960s psychedelia, particularly the British variety. It was followed up in 1987 with the LP Psonic Psunspot.


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 (such as 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 1980s equipment, the recording and mixing style 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 Andy Partridge except "What in the World??...", by Colin Moulding.

Side A
No. Title 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 Length
1. "What in the World??..." 5:01
2. "Your Gold Dress" 4:38
3. "The Mole from the Ministry" 5:50

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



  1. ^ Grimstad, Paul. "What is Avant-Pop?". Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Cater, Evan. "Review: The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Dahlen, Chris. "Review: The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 June 2011.