In the Year 2525
"In the Year 2525" is a hit song from 1969 by American pop-rock duo Zager and Evans
Zager and Evans
Zager & Evans were a Lincoln, Nebraska rock-pop duo of the late 1960s and early 1970s named after its two members, Denny Zager and Rick Evans, who met at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Fellow Nebraska artists Dave Trupp and Mark Dalton backed up the duo on drums and bass respectively...

. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 for six weeks commencing July 12, 1969. The song was written by Rick Evans
Rick Evans
Rick Evans is a chart-topping American singer and guitarist.From 1962 he played with the Eccentrics, a group which also included Denny Zager. The group split in 1965. By 1968 Evans and Zager worked as a duo together and had a number one hit with "In the Year 2525," written by Evans, allegedly in...

 in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968. A year later, an Odessa, Texas
Odessa, Texas
Odessa is a city in and the county seat of Ector County, Texas, United States. It is located primarily in Ector County, although a small portion of the city extends into Midland County. Odessa's population was 99,940 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Odessa, Texas Metropolitan...

, radio station popularized the disc, which RCA Records
RCA Records
RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America , which was the parent corporation from 1929 to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.RCA's Canadian unit is Sony's oldest label...

 quickly picked up for nationwide distribution.


"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 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. 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 nothing in, 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.

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.

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
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

 (In the year 7510, if God's a-coming, He ought to make it by then.), which echoed the zeitgeist
Zeitgeist is "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age."Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.The...

 of the Jesus Movement
Jesus movement
The Jesus movement was a movement in Christianity beginning on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spreading primarily through North America and Europe, before dying out by the early 1980s. It was the major Christian element within the hippie counterculture,...



It is unusual for a recording artist to have a number one hit and then never have another chart single
One-hit wonder
A one-hit wonder is a person or act known mainly for only a single success. The term is most often used to describe music performers with only one hit single.-Characteristics:...

 for the rest of their career. "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. and UK singles charts. 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
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 (although it did manage to make the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, peaking at #106).

The song has been covered
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

 at least 60 times in 7 different languages. A notable version of In the Year 2525 is sung by the italo-French pop singer, Dalida
Dalida , born with Italian name of Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, was a world-famous singer and actress born in Egypt with Italian origins but naturalised French with the name Yolanda Gigliotti. She spent her early years in Egypt amongst the Italian Egyptian community, but she lived most of her adult...

; another one by the UK new romantic
New Romantic
New Romanticism , was a pop culture movement in the United Kingdom that began around 1979 and peaked around 1981. Developing in London nightclubs such as Billy's and The Blitz and spreading to other major cities in the UK, it was based around flamboyant, eccentric fashion and new wave music...

 group Visage
Visage are a British New Wave rock band. Formed in 1978, the band became closely linked to the burgeoning New Romantic fashion movement of the early 1980s, and are best known for their 1980 hit "Fade to Grey".-New Wave years :...

; another version was used as the theme song for the short-lived science fiction series Cleopatra 2525
Cleopatra 2525
Cleopatra 2525 is an American science fiction television series that aired in syndication for two seasons, from January 2000 to March 2001. It appeared as the first part of the Back2Back Action Hour, followed by Jack of All Trades.-Synopsis:...

. It is also featured in both parts of the two-part second season finale of Millennium
Millennium (TV series)
Millennium is an American television series created by Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files. Millennium aired on the Fox Network from 1996 to 1999. The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, though most episodes were ostensibly set in or around Seattle, Washington...

where a man-made virus is threatening to wipe out humanity. The Slovenian industrial group Laibach
Laibach (band)
Laibach is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial, and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach formed June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia . Laibach represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst art collective, of which it was a founding member in 1984...

 edited the lyrics in their cover version to make it appropriate for 1994's NATO album
NATO (album)
NATO, released October 10, 1994, is an album by Slovenian industrial group Laibach, named after NATO. It is a selection of cover versions with the theme of war.Covers include Edwin Starr's "War" 1970 and Europe's "The Final Countdown".-Track listing:...

. There was also a dance cover of this song by The Act featuring Clinton III in 1993. More recently, it was covered by the gothic rock
Gothic rock
Gothic rock is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes...

 band Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim are an English gothic rock band formed in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in 1984. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Carl McCoy, saxophonist Gary Whisker, Tony Pettitt on bass, guitarist Paul Wright and drummer Alexander "Nod" Wright...

, by the electronic body music
Electronic body music
Electronic body music or industrial dance is a music genre that combines elements of industrial music and electronic dance music...

 band Project Pitchfork
Project Pitchfork
Project Pitchfork is an electronic musical group from Hamburg, Germany.-History:Project Pitchfork was formed by Peter Spilles and Dirk Scheuber. Having agreed to work together, they then picked the project's name by picking a word at random from the dictionary. The demo K.N.K.A. was recorded...

 (album Dhyani), 1991, by the German electronic band Strauss & Roggenbuck, and most recently by Ian Brown
Ian Brown
Ian George Brown is an English musician, best known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Stone Roses, which broke up in 1996 but are confirmed to reunite in 2012. Since the break-up of the Stone Roses he has pursued a solo career...

 on his 2009 album "My Way
My Way (Ian Brown album)
My Way is the sixth solo album by British artist Ian Brown. The album was released on September 28, 2009. The album's lead single "Stellify" was released on September 21, 2009...


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 comedy film Gentlemen Broncos
Gentlemen Broncos
Gentlemen Broncos is a 2009 comedy film written by Jared and Jerusha Hess, and directed by Jared Hess. The film stars Michael Angarano, Jemaine Clement, Sam Rockwell and Jennifer Coolidge.-Plot:...

uses the song during its opening credits.

According to Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell, authors of The Worst Rock and Roll Records of All Time (1991), who place the song at number six on their list of the 50 worst rock-and-roll singles, "science fiction and rock and roll don't mix any better than Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor is a Hungarian-born American stage, film and television actress.She acted on stage in Vienna, Austria, in 1932, and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She emigrated to the United States in 1941 and became a sought-after actress with "European flair and style", with a personality that...

 and reality". Others differ, calling the one-hit wonder "prophetic".

The White Stripes
The White Stripes
The White Stripes was an American rock band, formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan. The group consisted of the songwriter Jack White and drummer Meg White . Jack and Meg White were previously married to each other, but are now divorced...

 refer to "the year 2525" in the song "You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)" on their album De Stijl
De Stijl (album)
De Stijl is the second studio album by the American garage rock band The White Stripes, released on June 20, 2000 on Sympathy for the Record Industry. The album reached number thirty-eight on Billboards Independent Albums chart in 2002, when The White Stripes' popularity began to grow...


The Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

episode "The Late Philip J. Fry
The Late Philip J. Fry
"The Late Philip J. Fry" is the seventh episode of the sixth season of the animated series Futurama. It originally aired on Comedy Central on July 29, 2010. In the episode, Fry attempts to make it on time to a birthday dinner date for Leela. He is sidetracked by Professor Farnsworth and Bender,...

" uses a parody of the song as three of its main characters travel through the various eras of the future, including the year 252525.

See also

  • 26th century
    26th century
    The 26th century of the anno Domini era will span from January 1, 2501–December 31, 2600 of the Gregorian calendar.-List of the long total solar eclipses:* June 14, 2504 : Solar eclipse,, , of saros 145....

  • Zager & Evans
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