Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

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"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"
Single by Chicago Transit Authority
from the album Chicago Transit Authority
B-side "Listen"
Released October 1970
Format 7"
Recorded January 27/30, 1969
Genre Jazz fusion
Length 4:36 (Album version)
3:20 (Single version)
2:54 (Radio edit)
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Robert Lamm
Producer(s) James William Guercio
Chicago Transit Authority singles chronology
"25 or 6 to 4"
"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"
"25 or 6 to 4"
"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"

"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" is a song by the rock band Chicago. It was included on their 1969 debut album Chicago Transit Authority and released as a single in 1970. The song was written and sung by Robert Lamm.


The song was not released as a single until two tracks from the band's second album, "Make Me Smile" and "25 or 6 to 4", had become hits. It became the band's third straight Top 10 single, peaking at number seven in the U.S.[1] and number two in Canada.[2] Because the song straddled years in its chart run, it is not ranked on the major U.S. year-end charts. However, in Canada, where it charted higher, it is ranked as both the 59th biggest hit of 1970 and the 37th biggest hit of 1971.

The original uncut album version opens with a brief "free form" piano solo performed by Lamm. A spoken verse by Lamm is mixed into the sung final verse of the album version. The single version does not include the "free form" intro or the spoken verse, and was originally mixed and issued in mono. A stereo re-edit (beginning from the point where the "free form" intro leaves off) was issued on the group's Only the Beginning greatest hits CD set.

A 2:54 shorter edit (without the opening fanfare or piano break, starting at the trumpet solo) was included on the original vinyl version of Chicago's Greatest Hits, but was not included on the CD version. This short edit was included on the CD version of the compilation album If You Leave Me Now. This version was used as a radio edit version. A shorter version at 2:46 (starting midway through the trumpet solo) was issued as a promotional single, which finally appeared on 2007's The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition.

A live version on the Chicago at Carnegie Hall box set presents an expanded version of the "free form" intro, which itself is given its own track.

Various versions of the song receive airplay; the promotional single edit is the version played on certain 'Classic Hits' stations and 1970s radio shows. For example, radio station KKMJ would play the promo edit version on its 'Super Songs' of the 70s weekend. Classic Hits KXBT would also play the promo edit, and by contrast the True Oldies Channel would play the 3:20 single version. An AM radio station in Boston (WJIB 740 which also simulcasts in Maine as WJTO 730) plays the original vinyl Chicago IX edit.


Chart performance[edit]

Appearances in other media[edit]

  • In the 2000 movie Little Nicky, a recording of the song is played backwards on a record turntable and (fake) Satanic messages are heard.
  • The morning news show Morning Joe weaves this song into their program regularly.
  • The song is one of many Chicago songs played during the HBO movie Clear History, which features the band prominently in the story line.
  • The song is heard briefly in David O. Russell's 2013 film American Hustle.


  1. ^ "Chicago Transit Authority Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  3. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". 1971-02-15. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  4. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 9, 1971
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.