The first time man landed on the moon through the spaceflight Apollo 11, the song “In The Year 2525” dominated the charts that summer.
It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for six weeks, making it the longest-running No. 1 that year. It also achieved the same success in several other countries, reaching No. 1 in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, where it sat atop the chart for three weeks.
The song was released by the pop-rock duo Zager and Evans from their 1969 debut studio album 2525 (Exordium & Terminus).
With the song’s success, the duo was getting all the attention they deserve. In fact, they were even prominently featured in Time Magazine, which wrote: “The Beatles would be jealous.”
“Who would have believed two farm boys from Nebraska would have the No. 1 hit in the world and have Time magazine saying the Beatles would be jealous! I couldn’t have dreamed it,” Zager said.
Sadly, this was the only hit for Zager and Evans. The duo never had another song crack in the charts of the United States as well as in the United Kingdom, and they split in the early 1970s.
About The One Hit-Wonder Song
Written by Rick Evans, “In The Year 2525” is a futuristic tale that reflects the apprehension of time and the wonders of technology.
It opens with a verse wondering if mankind managed to survive to the year 2525, then they would witness the following events in the song in every next millennium – from the year 3535 to the year 9595.
In the song, life becomes more and more sedentary and preset every succeeding millennium: like thoughts are already pre-programmed into pills for humanity to consume, the machine will now replace human’s limbs, eyes, and teeth, and marriage will become outdated since children can now be conceived in test tubes.
You could say it’s such an unusual song. And as it nears its end, it wonders if mankind will still be alive in the year 9595, after taking everything the world can give without giving anything back.
“Now it’s been ten thousand 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. In the year 2525, if man is still alive. If woman can survive, they may find,” the song goes.
Zager revealed that Evans wrote the lyrics of “In The Year 2525” within just ten minutes at the back of a Volkswagen van after partying all night.
“He tried the song with a few bands he was playing with at the time, but the music wasn’t right, and it wasn’t working. I thought the lyrics were intriguing, so I rewrote the music, so it blended better with the lyrics,” Zager said. “The first night we played it live, we knew it was special because the crowd looked stunned and wanted to hear it again and again.”
You can listen to “In The Year 2525” in the video below.
Zager and Evans