Posts from 22nd September 2006

22
Sep 06

ZAGER AND EVANS – “In The Year 2525 (Exordium And Terminus)”

FT + Popular36 comments • 3,856 views

#275, 30th August 1969

Science-fiction songs are rare visitors to the mundane world of Earth’s pop charts, and a song that goes beyond sci-fi into a genuinely apocalyptic future vision – a kind of folk-rock Olaf Stapledon! – is more unusual still. Everything about Zager and Evans’ hit – the high-sounding subtitle, the pained vocal nobility, the trilling melodrama of the guitars – could easily be read as kitsch now, but it carries a weird power and conviction too. This is actually enhanced by the quite boring song structure and the clunky phrasing – “You won’t find a thing to chew” – and goes some way to explaining both why it hit so big and why these time-tossed prophets failed to follow it up ever. On the other hand, if your comment on this is “totally ridiculous” I’m not actually going to disagree.