In the Year 2525

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"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"
German single cover
Single by Zager and Evans
from the album 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)
B-side"Little Kids"
Released1969 (1969)
Format7"
GenreFolk rock
Length3:15
LabelRCA
Writer(s)Rick Evans
Zager and Evans singles chronology
"In the Year 2525"
(1969)
"Cary Lynn Javes"
(1969)
 
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"2525" redirects here. For the year 2525, see 26th century.
"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"
German single cover
Single by Zager and Evans
from the album 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)
B-side"Little Kids"
Released1969 (1969)
Format7"
GenreFolk rock
Length3:15
LabelRCA
Writer(s)Rick Evans
Zager and Evans singles chronology
"In the Year 2525"
(1969)
"Cary Lynn Javes"
(1969)

"In the Year 2525 (Exordium et 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. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September that year.[1] The song was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968. A year later, an Odessa, Texas, radio station popularized the disc, which RCA Records quickly picked up for nationwide distribution. Zager and Evans disbanded in 1971. Denny Zager now builds custom guitars in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Summary[edit]

"In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)" opens with the words "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 3535 to 6565.[2] 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. Amid ominous-sounding orchestral music, the final dated chronological verse is,

In the year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin' if Man is gonna be alive.
He's taken everything this old Earth can give, and he ain't put back nothin', whoa-whoa...,

The summary verse concludes:

Now it's been 10,000 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.[2]

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.[3]

The song describes a nightmarish vision of the future as man's technological inventions gradually dehumanize him. It includes a colloquial reference to the Second Coming (In the year 7510, if God's a-coming, He ought to make it by then.), which echoed the zeitgeist of the Jesus movement.

Legacy[edit]

It is unusual for a recording artist to have a number one hit and then never have another chart single. "In the Year 2525" actually gave Zager and Evans this status twice; they remain 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 (although it did manage to make the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, peaking at #106). Another single, "Listen to the People", managed to make the bottom slot of the Cashbox chart at #100.

The song has been covered at least 60 times in seven different languages.[4] 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 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 where a man-made virus is threatening to wipe out humanity.[5]

The Slovenian industrial group Laibach edited the lyrics in their cover version to make it appropriate for 1994's NATO album.

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",[6] and by Ian Brown on his 2009 album My Way.

In the 1992 movie Alien 3, a prisoner is heard singing a line or two of the song while scraping the inside of a ventilator shaft, shortly before he is attacked by a juvenile xenomorph and subsequently diced by a large ventilation fan.

The 1996 film Small Faces uses the song in its closing credits.

The Vietnam war movie 1968 Tunnel Rats uses the song as its opening credits theme.

The 2009 comedy film Gentlemen Broncos uses the song during its opening credits and again near the end of the film.

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.

The Futurama episode "The Late Philip J. Fry" uses a parody of the song as three of its main characters travel through the various eras of the future, including the year 252525.

The years in the song are OEIS sequence A111729.

In the United States, the song was the #1 song in the nation at the same time man first landed on the moon.

Tirso Cruz III on his self-titled album Tirso Cruz III 1969 under Vicor Records.

See also[edit]

Preceded by
"Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet" by Henry Mancini
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
July 12, 1969 - August 16, 1969
Succeeded by
"Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones
Preceded by
"Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat & Tears
US Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Zager & Evans version)
August 16, 1969 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash
Preceded by
"Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James and the Shondells
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
August 2, 1969
Succeeded by
"Baby, I Love You" by Andy Kim
Preceded by
"Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones
Swiss Singles Chart number one single
August 26, 1969
Succeeded by
"Je t'aime... moi non plus" by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
Preceded by
"Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones
UK Singles Chart number one single
August 26, 1969
Succeeded by
"Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 236. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "All versions of Some musics". Alltheversions.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Various - Advanced Electronics Vol. 2 (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2003-06-12. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 

External links[edit]