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Chicago - 25 or 6 to 4 (Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien 2009)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
25 or 6 to 4 on Wikipedia
"25 or 6 to 4"
Single by Chicago
from the album Chicago
B-side"Where Do We Go From Here"
ReleasedJune 1970
RecordedAugust 1969
Length4:50 (album version)
2:53 (single version)
Writer(s)Robert Lamm
ProducerJames William Guercio
Chicago singles chronology

"25 or 6 to 4" is a song written by American musician Robert Lamm, one of the founding members of the rock/jazz fusion band Chicago. It was recorded for their second album, Chicago (1970), with Peter Cetera on lead vocals. The song was edited and released as a single in June of that year, climbing to number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number seven on the UK Singles Chart. This recording features an electric guitar solo using a wah-wah pedal by Chicago guitarist Terry Kath, and has been included in numerous Chicago compilation albums.

An updated version of "25 or 6 to 4" was recorded for the 1986 album Chicago 18 with James Pankow listed as co-writer. Featuring new band member Jason Scheff on lead vocals, the single reached number 48 on the U.S. chart. This version was also used as the B-side for the band's next single in 1986 "Will You Still Love Me?".

The song appears as an on-disc track in the video game Rock Band 3.


While it has been speculated that the song's lyrics are drug related, that rumor has been largely dismissed. Lamm himself says that the title is "just a reference to the time of day," and that "the song is about writing a song. It's not mystical." The time of day in reference is 3:35 AM (or 3:34 AM), which would then be 25 (or 26) minutes to 4 AM.[1][2]

Cover versions

This song has been covered by multiple artists, including Vince Neil (on Carved in Stone); fellow rockers Thunderhead, featuring singer Ted Bullet; Straitjacket; Local H; Intruder; Bruce Foxton (solo, ex The Jam); The Moog Cookbook; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Umphrey's McGee; and Who's Your Daddy (on Paternity Suit).

In 2005 Jonathan Coulton made "When I'm 25 or 64", a mashup of "25 or 6 to 4" with "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles.[3] For the Results Night performance on the finale of the ninth season of American Idol, Lee DeWyze performed "25 or 6 to 4", along with "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and "If You Leave Me Now", with the band. Constantine Maroulis released his version of the song as a single in 2011.[4]

The band Pacifika made a cover of the song that appeared on the pilot episode of Ringer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.


  1. ^ "What does the Chicago lyric "25 or 6 to 4" mean?". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Chicago History, Chapter VI". Official Site of Chicago the Band. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Coulton Blog Archive
  4. ^ Chicago Admin. "Constantine Maroulis releases his version of Chicago classic: 25 Or 6 To 4". Chicago The Band Music Community. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 

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