Counterculture Classic: "In the Year 2525" Zager and Evans (1969)

@JohnRoberts (54131)
Los Angeles, California
May 7, 2017 9:00am CST
Anyone who has heard this one hit wonder relic from the turbulent 60s will not have forgotten. “In the Year 2525” was a sensation when I was young as it was played over and over again on radio. The song reigned six consecutive weeks atop Billboard, went gold with two million copies sold (10 million to date) and #1 in the UK. Denny Zager and Rick Evans met in 1962 at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Evans wrote “In the Year 2525” in 1964 and they recorded it in 1968 for Truth Records achieving regional success. RCA signed Zager and Evans and gave the single and album “2525 (Exorbium and Terminus)” the big push. At the time, I did not fully grasp the social commentary and meaning. To me, it was that weird countdown song about man’s destruction. A gloomy opposite to Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” also from 1969. Now I understand why the song resonated with the counterculture. “In the Year 2525” is not about politics or war. Consider these lyrics: “Everything you think, say and do is in the pill you took today” “Your legs got nothin’ to do Some machine’s doin’ that for you” The whole song is like that. Evans was predicting man’s downfall due to advanced technology and machines. How prophetic! Almost 50 years later, Evans’ vision is slowly becoming true as society becomes enslaved to technology and surrendering thinking to machines. “In the Year 2525” is stunning from that perspective. Follow up singles failed and Zager and Evans broke up in 1971. Zager became a guitar maker in Lincoln. Evans has been neatly invisible rarely emerging in public. The residual checks keep rolling in.
As years goes by, We can find Zager & Evans visions were right! "In The Year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin if man is gonna be alive, He's taken everything this ol...
7 people like this
8 responses
@FourWalls (13273)
• United States
7 May 17
Most accurate: test tube babies ("you'll pick your sons, pick your daughters too from the bottom of a long glass tube").
2 people like this
• United States
7 May 17
Yes I also remember this one playing a lot. This and War by Edwin Starr.
2 people like this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
11 May 17
"If God's coming, he ought to make it by then..."
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40872)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
10 May 17
Huh. I never listened to it from that perspective. Interesting take, very prophetic. Going to listen again now.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5392)
• United States
8 May 17
I've always loved this song, and I have always figured it was them talking about man's downfall but I also grew up in the 90s and could already see it happening. I always loved listening to the oldies station and this song was played on it.
1 person likes this
@hostessman (9214)
• Tucson, Arizona
7 May 17
like i said John i am country all the way, don;t no much about these songs
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (45384)
• United States
7 May 17
I remember this song well. It was highly popular in its day.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (19578)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
7 May 17
I remember this song. I remember singing along to it. I remember the inherent anger.
1 person likes this