In the Year 2525

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"In the Year 2525"
In the Year 2525 Single.jpg
German single cover
Single by Zager and Evans
from the album 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)
B-side "Little Kids"
Released 1968 (on Truth label)
Format 7"
Recorded 1968
Genre Folk rock

3:10 (Truth label)

3:15 (RCA label)
Label Truth; RCA
Songwriter(s) Rick Evans
Producer(s) Zager and Evans
Zager and Evans singles chronology
"In the Year 2525"
"Mr. Turnkey"
"In the Year 2525"
"Mr. Turnkey"

"In the Year 2525" 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.[1] It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September that year,[2] the song was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968.[3] Zager and Evans disbanded in 1971.

Zager and Evans were a one-hit wonder, recording artists who had a number one hit and then never had another chart single, they did this in both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart, which is rare. 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 number 100.


"In the Year 2525" 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 2525 to 9595;[4] in each succeeding millennium, life becomes increasingly sedentary and automated: machines take over all work, marriage is obsolete since children are conceived in test tubes, and thoughts are pre-programmed into pills for people to consume. 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.

For the final three millennia, the tone of the song turns apocalyptic. By 9595, humanity has likely been wiped out as punishment for depleting the world and not putting anything back into it in return, the song has no chorus. 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 "In the year 2525...", before the song fades.[4]

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.[5]


The song was recorded primarily in one take in 1968, at a studio in a cow pasture in Odessa, Texas.[6] Members of the Odessa Symphony also participated in the recording.


  • 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.[7] 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.

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

In a scene from the 1992 film Alien 3, directed by David Fincher, a custodian sings a verse from "In the Year 2525" as he cleans an air duct before finding evidence of an alien.

The South African film 1968 Tunnel Rats directed by Uwe Boll uses the song as its title theme.

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.

A parody version of the song appears in the Futurama episode "The Late Philip J. Fry".

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 (6 weeks)
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 - August 23, 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 (1 week)
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 (1 week)
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 30, 1969 - September 13, 1969 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Preceded by
"Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
New Zealand Singles Chart number one single
September 5, 1969 - September 12, 1969 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones
Preceded by
"Saved by the Bell" by Robin Gibb
Irish Singles Chart number one single
September 19, 1969 - September 26, 1969 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Don't Forget to Remember" by The Bee Gees


  1. ^ The Hot 100, Week of July 12, 1969 – Billboard.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 236. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Miller, Nathaniel. "Hit song of 1969 recorded in Odessa". News OK. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Drummer on only No. 1 hit to come out of Lincoln dies at 72 | Local". 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  7. ^ "All versions of Some musics". Retrieved 2010-10-05. 

External links[edit]