The full title is “In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus). The parenthetical title can be translated from Latin as “Beginning and End.”
Rick Evans wrote the lyrics to this social conscience hit in 1964 and Denny Zager added the music by the time the duo recorded it for Truth Records in 1968. On the single release, Evans is credited as the sole author.
The song was popular in the duo’s home state of Nebraska as a regional hit, but when it was picked up for airplay in Odessa, Texas, it caught the attention of RCA Victor and they purchased the national release rights for the single in 1969. In the US, the song sold over two million copies and was certified gold. Platinum certification for singles would not be defined for nearly a decade – otherwise the second million copies would have qualified the single at the higher level.
It’s a great song that plots the plight of humankind and it isn’t a rosy picture. Additionally, this song is constructed of nine verses and no chorus – quite a strange arrangement that is off the formula hit track.