In the Year 2525
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|"In the Year 2525"|
German single cover
|Single by Zager and Evans|
|from the album 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)|
|Released||1968 (on Truth label)|
3:10 (Truth label)3:15 (RCA label)
|Producer(s)||Zager and Evans|
|Zager and Evans singles chronology|
"In the Year 2525" is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Dennis Zager and Rick Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks commencing July 12, 1969. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September that year. The song was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968. Zager and Evans disbanded in 1971.
It is unusual for a recording artist to have a number one hit and then never have another chart single. Zager and Evans are the only act to do this in both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Their follow-up single on RCA-Victor, "Mr. Turnkey" (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the wall as punishment for his crime), failed to hit the main music charts on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Another single, "Listen to the People", managed to make the bottom slot of the Cashbox chart at #100.
- "In the year 2525,
- If man is still alive,
- If woman can survive,
- They may find...".
Subsequent verses pick up the story at 1010-year intervals from 2525 to 6565. Disturbing predictions are given for each selected year. In the year 3535, for example, all of a person's actions, words and thoughts will be preprogrammed into a daily pill. Then the pattern as well as the music changes, going up a half step in the key of the song, after two stanzas, first from A-flat minor, to A minor, and, then, finally, to B flat minor, and verses for the years 7510, 8510 and 9595 follow.
The song has no chorus. The summary verse concludes:
- Now it's been ten thousand years. Man has cried a billion tears,
- For what, he never knew. Now man's reign is through.
- But through eternal night, The twinkling of starlight.
- So very far away, Maybe it's only yesterday.
The song goes back to the beginning, starting all over again, with 2525 before the song's fade.
The overriding theme, of a world doomed by its passive acquiescence to and overdependence on its own overdone technologies, struck a resonant chord in millions of people around the world in the late 1960s.
- Rick Evans – acoustic guitar, vocals
- Denny Zager – acoustic guitar, vocals
- Mark Dalton – bass guitar
- Dave Trupp – drums
The song has been covered at least 60 times in seven languages. A notable version of "In the Year 2525" is sung by the Italo-French pop singer, Dalida; another one by the UK new romantic group Visage; another one by Greek singer Takis Antoniadis in the '70s. Another version, with different lyrics, was used as the theme song for the short-lived science fiction series Cleopatra 2525. It is also featured in both parts of the two-part second season finale of Millennium, in which a man-made virus is threatening to wipe out humanity.
More recently, it was covered by the gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim, by the electronic body music band Project Pitchfork (album Dhyani, 1991), by the German electronic band Strauss & Roggenbuck on the 2003 compilation Advanced Electronics 2, and by Ian Brown on his 2009 album My Way.
The song was included in the controversial 2001 Clear Channel memorandum, a document distributed by Clear Channel Communications to every radio station owned by the company. The list consisted of 165 songs considered by Clear Channel to be "lyrically questionable" following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 236. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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- Laffer, William D. (July 22, 1969). "'In the Year 2525' Began in the Year 1965: The Anatomy of a No. 1 Record". The Milwaukee Journal.
- Reynolds, Tom (2005). I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard. Milsons Point, N.S.W.: Random House. p. 85. ISBN 1-74166-020-3.
- "Drummer on only No. 1 hit to come out of Lincoln dies at 72 | Local". Journalstar.com. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- "All versions of Some musics". Alltheversions.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
- "Various - Advanced Electronics Vol. 2 (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2003-06-12. Retrieved 2014-03-27.