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How Zager and Evans`s gloomy anti-Utopia of “In the Year 2525“ became a big hit?

As you think whose song headed a hit - parade of Billboard in the summer of 1969 when the whole world was exultant over disembarkation of astronauts to the Moon, and the happy and smoked youth was delayed in the atmosphere of the world and love at the well-known festival in Woodstock? Jimi Hendrix? BEATLES? ROLLING STONES? CREEDENCE? Here not...

C on July 12 six weeks without interruption (!) at top of charts of the USA there was the most gloomy anti-utopian composition of “In the Year 2525“ (“In 2525“) the ZAGER & EVANS duet which nowadays and is remembered only thanks to this song.

It is possible to think, of course, that so sad view of the future of mankind was stimulated war in Vietnam or student`s disorders in the USA and Europe. But again the discrepancy, the song was written to all this outrage - in 1964.

It happened so that the young guitarist from Nebraska - Denny Zager - brought together own group THE ECCENTRICS in 1961. Soon at a competition of young talents he saw Ric Evans and invited to himself in collective. Affairs at THE ECCENTRICS went inertly - neither records, nor breaks, just small concerts on any vegetable marrows. As a result all this bothered Zager, and the founder left group to create new.

Just somewhere during this period of disorder Evans also composed the future hit “In the Year 2525“ - literally for half an hour. Colleagues and the author, did not consider any potential in the song and shelved it.

Soon both ECCENTRICS, and new group of Zager collapsed. But Zager and Evans decided to unite again - this time in a duet. Acting on public, they remembered also an old song about 2525. Suddenly it turned out that the people fell in love with the song and demands encore.

Moving towards wishes of workers, ZAGER & EVANS decided to let out it on a single. Occupied 500 dollars and in 1968 wrote down “In the Year 2525“ in the Texas city of Odessa (is there and such). Having stamped a trial tyschonka of copies, musicians carried disks on local radio.

And that you thought? The song went on “hurrah“, having become a hit in separately taken staff.

When 11 thousand copies of a single were sold already, Zager and Evans began to dispatch “In the Year 2525“ to more solid cities. Became the first who estimated the song a nu - the York manager Gerry Vayntraub. In 1969 the song was republished and received normal rotation on radio.

The success was unknown. By 1970 4 million copies of a single were sold! “In the Year 2525“ became No. 1 not only in the USA, but also in Britain and Canada. The song was even twisted on the Soviet radio “Mayak“ in tool processing of “an orchestra from the Federative Republic of Germany“.

With what this composition attracted listeners? Music was simple, the repeating melody constructed on one which personally at me revived motives of the Spanish flamenco in memory (especially where pipes sound). Despite it, in “In the Year 2525“ there was a nerve and dramatic nature which gradually increased by means of strengthening of a rhythm and modulation.

The success of a song was so big that the review of it was published by the magazine “Time“, having noted: “This futuristic ballad sounds as if it was composed by one of computers of Rand corporation“ .

The speech hardly goes about sounding of “In the Year 2525“ - there is nothing innovative, and today it a retro at all. And here text...

Surge in mass interest in science fiction in 1950 - 60 - x years, stimulated flights in space, did not avoid also musicians. But not everyone divided an iridescent view of the future of a human civilization. In 1969 the anti-Utopia had to the place at all. It is enough to remember that enough pessimistic then was nominated for “Oscar“ two fantastic the movie - “The planet of monkeys“ and “A space Odyssey of 2001“... And the first hit of David Bowie “Space Oddity“ about the astronaut who decided not to come back to Earth, optimism did not gush forth...

As for Zager and Evans`s song, the apocalyptic tone was set already by the first couplet:

In 2525,

If the man still lives,

If the woman is able to survive, They will be able to see


(Hereinafter - V. Zinovyev`s translation)

What will be seen by people in the far future? Yes anything good. The tyranny of technologies gradually raschelovechit people, having turned them into weak-willed appendages of mechanisms. Jumping through time spans, ZAGER & EVANS represent eras when emotions and thoughts of people cope with the help of tablets, the body from inaction degrades, the family will disappear, and children will begin to be conceived only in test tubes.

The chronology of events in the first five couplets is dated pieces in 1010 (2525, 3535, 4545, 5555, 6565). In it there is no hidden sense, everything is defined by rhythmics and a rhyme. Probably, from - for necessary we jump over rhymes in the sixth and seventh couplets not in 7575 and 8585, and in 7510 - y and 8510 - y. Perhaps, it is also connected also with the fact that the Lord brilliantly interferes in the futuristic text unexpectedly and:

In the 7510th year,

If God exists, he will come by then. at

Perhaps he will look around Himself and will tell:

“Probably, came time for the Doomsday“.

In the 8510th year

God will shake powerful-headed

I or will tell: “I am happy with the person“,

Or will erase everything and will start anew.

Judging by the last couplets, God everything is chose the last:

In the 9595th year

Ya it is enough - I will be surprised if the person is living. It took

everything that the old earth could give

I of nothing returned.

Now, later ten thousand years,

of People naplakat an ocean of tears

what never knew.

its reign is ended Now.

But behind eternal night,

Blinking of stars,

it is Very far from us,

Perhaps it already was yesterday.

Then as a symbol of a new cycle, the first couplets repeat and gradually calm down... It is no casual in the full name of a song there is a subtitle of “Exordium and Terminus“ (literally - “The introduction and Terminal station“, and on sense - “The beginning and the End“).

ZAGER & EVANS and remained group of one hit, though let out three albums (only the first got to the TOP - 30 USA - and that on the wave of success of “In the Year 2525“). The public did not estimate gloom of the following single “Mister Turnkey“ (“Mr. jailer“) where on a lovely melody the confession of the tyrant who crucifies himself on a wall of a prison cell was put, and the plate could not get even to the TOP - 100 USA. Other songs which, first of all, selected clever and ironic texts flew by by cash desk, and by 1971 the duet collapsed.

Apparently, did not wish to join in the show car - business also musicians. Evans refused to copy success of “In the Year 2525“ - not the most favourite its song, and Zager said at all that he thought of withdrawal from a duet still when this hit dangled on the top of a top.

Continued to bear the disturbing message of a duet in masses numerous perepevala of a hit. From covers to me the LAIBACH version (with characteristic choruses and a gloomy recitative) and the singer Jane Rossi especially attracted (though arrangement and pop, but sings the girl very emotionally).

And here at transposition of a song for the sake of respect for rhythm by much it was necessary to donate for other languages “chronology“ of a song. So the singer Dalida in the French-language version sings about 2005, and in italoyazychny - about 2023 - m. Greeks of THE SOUNDS devoted everything to 25000 year, and Germans of NINA & MIKE chose sequence in 7, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 100 years. Japanese from the WINK duet did not begin to bother at all and deviated from a subject, having called the song... “Mighty mighty love“.

Have fun over the text of “In the Year 2525“ and in the cartoon serial “Futurama“. It is not surprising, considering that events there already take place at the beginning of the third millennium. Therefore in an episode “The Late Philip J. Fry“ where heroes travel in time, is sung by a tongue twister about 252 525.

Russian-speaking covers I at the moment did not find out that too is clear. Where British have “tvent fayv tvent fayv“, we will have “two thousand five hundred twenty fifth“. Try to sing it...

P. S.: To listen to the song and covers you, as usual, can in 1 - m comments to this article in the section “For Inquisitive and Inquisitive“.