In the Year 2525

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"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"
RCA release
Single by Zager and Evans
from the album 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)
B-side"Little Kids"
Released1969 (Truth label)
April 1969 (RCA label)[1]
Recorded1969, Odessa, Texas
Length3:10 (Truth label)
3:15 (RCA label)
LabelTruth; RCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Rick Evans
Producer(s)Zager and Evans
Zager and Evans singles chronology
"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"
"Mr. Turnkey"
Alternative release
Artwork for the German vinyl single
Artwork for the German vinyl single

"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)" is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks commencing July 12, 1969.[4] It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September that year.[5] The song was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968.[6] It was later picked up by RCA Records. Zager and Evans disbanded in 1971.

Due to Zager and Evans never releasing another charting single, it in turn effectively made them one-hit wonders. This occurred in both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart and as of 2022, they are the only recording artists ever to have a chart-topping number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic and never have another charting single in the US (on the Billboard Hot 100) or the UK for the rest of their career. Their follow-up single on RCA Victor, "Mr. Turnkey", reached number 48[7] in the Canadian pop charts and number 41 in the Canadian AC chart.[8] Another single, "Listen to the People", managed to make the bottom slot of the Cashbox chart at number 100 and number 96 in Canada.[9]


"In the Year 2525" opens with an introductory verse explaining that if mankind has survived to that point, they would witness the subsequent events in the song. The following verses jump the story approximately with 1000-year intervals, specifically 3535, 4545, 5555, 6565, 7510, 8510 and finally 9595.[10] In each succeeding millennium, life becomes increasingly sedentary and automated: thoughts are pre-programmed into pills for people to consume; eyes, teeth, and limbs all lose their purposes due to machines replacing their functions; and marriage becomes obsolete because children are conceived in test tubes.

The song ends after 10,000 years. By that time, humans have finally become extinct. But the narrator notes that somewhere "so very far away", possibly in an alternative universe, the scenarios told in the song have still yet to play out, as the song repeats from the top (but in the same key, tone, and speed as the previous verse) and the recording fades out.[10]

The overriding theme, of a world doomed by its passive acquiescence to and over dependence on its own overdone technologies, all while neglecting the unchecked exploitation of the Earth, struck a resonant chord in millions of people around the world in the late 1960s.[11]


The song was recorded primarily in one take in 1968, at a studio in a cow pasture in Odessa, Texas.[12]


  • Denny Zager & Rick Evans – acoustic guitars & vocals
  • Mark Dalton – bass guitar
  • Dave Trupp – drums
  • The Odessa Symphony – additional instruments
  • Tommy Allsup – producer[13]

The record had regional success so RCA Records picked it up for a national release. RCA producer Ethel Gabriel was tasked with enhancing the sound and arrangement. The track went to number 1 on the U.S. charts within three weeks of release.[14]


The song has been covered at least 60 times in seven languages, including a Jewish parody recorded by Country Yossi, and an Italian version recorded by Zager and Evans called "Nell'Anno 2033".[15][16]

It was included in a Clear Channel memorandum, distributed by Clear Channel Communications to every radio station owned by the company, which contained 165 songs considered to be "lyrically questionable" following the September 11, 2001, attacks.[17]

Two lines of the song are sung by the inmate Murphy in the 1992 film Alien 3 immediately prior to his death. Brief snippets are played in "The Time Is Now", the second-season finale of the TV show Millennium, which depicts an apocalyptic event. The song was rewritten and used as the introductory theme for the 2000 TV series Cleopatra 2525. In 2010, it was parodied as "In the Year 252525" in the seventh episode of Futurama's sixth season, "The Late Philip J. Fry", as Fry, Professor Farnsworth and Bender travel forwards through time to find a period in which the backwards time machine has been invented.[18] The song acts as an aesthetic theme to the film Gentlemen Broncos.[19] The BBC Radio series 2525, a sketch show set in the year 2525, featured a cover of the song with its first lyric as its introductory theme.

The first few verses of the song are used as the opening theme while the credits roll in the 2006 film Tunnel Rats.

A fake Time Magazine cover has been circulated after the success of 2525. It was reported in Forbes and by Denny Zager himself that a Time Magazine issue from 1969 featuring Zager and Evans with the caption "Even The Beatles would be jealous" was published. However, this cover does not appear in Time's vault or catalog history.[20][21]

Chart history[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[38] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Zager And Evans - In The Year 2525 (Exordium And Terminus)". Retrieved March 23, 2020 – via
  2. ^ "Zager & Evans - In The Year 2525". Discogs. 1969. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  3. ^ Breihan, Tom (November 28, 2018). "The Number Ones: Zager & Evans' "In The Year 2525"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ...the #1 song in America was a massively goofy folk-rock sci-fi novelty song about the dangers of technology.
  4. ^ The Hot 100, Week of July 12, 1969 – Billboard.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 236. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ Miller, Nathaniel (19 August 2011). "Hit song of 1969 recorded in Odessa". News OK. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  7. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - November 8, 1969" (PDF).
  8. ^ "RPM Top 50 Adult - November 8, 1969" (PDF).
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - January 10, 1970" (PDF).
  10. ^ a b 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.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Drummer on only No. 1 hit to come out of Lincoln dies at 72 | Local". 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  13. ^ Forte, Dan (14 March 2019). "Tommy Allsup 1931-2017: From Buddy Holly to Bob Wills".
  14. ^ "Zager and Evans | Way Back Attack". Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  15. ^ "All versions of Some musics". 30 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
  16. ^ "Zager & Evans Nell'anno 2033". YouTube.
  17. ^ Wishnia, Steven (October 24, 2001). "Bad Transmission: Clear Channel's Hit List". Reviews. LiP magazine. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  18. ^ "Futurama in the year 105105 time machine song". Vimeo. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "Hear me out: why Gentlemen Broncos isn’t a bad movie" by Ryan Gilbey. The Guardian April 12, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021.
  20. ^ Clash, Jim. "In The Year 2525, If Man Is Still Alive". Forbes. Retrieved 2024-04-01.
  21. ^ "The TIME Vault: 1969". Retrieved 2024-04-01.
  22. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  23. ^ Canadian peak RPM
  24. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1969-09-06. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – In the Year 2525". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Singoli – I numeri uno (1959–2006) (parte 3: 1980–1990)". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  27. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Archived from the original on October 9, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  28. ^ "Official Charts Company". 1969-08-09. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  29. ^ "Zager & Evans – Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.
  30. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 264.
  31. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/09/69". Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  32. ^ "Go-Set Magazine Charts". Barry McKay. January 2007. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  33. ^ "RPM Top Singles of 1969". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  34. ^ "Sixties City - Pop Music Charts - Every Week Of The Sixties". Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  35. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  36. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 27, 1969". Archived from the original on January 25, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  37. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  38. ^ "American single certifications – Zager & Evans – In The Year 2525". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 20, 2023.

External links[edit]