This summer, [lastfm]Chicago[/lastfm] celebrates the 40th anniversary of one of their most recognizable and baffling tunes, “25 Or 6 To 4.” The song is best known for its memorable guitar riffs and dynamic horn section, but the song’s title and lyrics are still getting attention for their mysterious meaning.
To singer/keyboardist Robert Lamm, the interpretation of the song is pretty simple, get his explanation 40 years after its debut!
First appearing on [lastfm]Chicago[/lastfm]’s 1970 self titled album, many fans have pondered over the meaning of “25 Or 6 To 4,” thinking it was referring to a psychedelic drug experience. But the song’s meaning is actually just referring to a time of day, 3:35 or 3:34 a.m. — 25 or 26 minutes until 4. Composer Robert Lamm explains:
“I was trying to describe what it would be like to write that particular song. So I had this idea of a guitar riff. I was really just trying to describe to sit up on the Hollywood Hills and look out across the city and see ‘flashing lights against the sky’ –again, just describing the experience of writing that song. I had no idea of what I was doing, still very much in the naive mode of being a songwriter. The result was a song that all young guitarists learn how to play.”
The song’s popularity is still apparent even today with artists including Vince Neil, Local H, Woody Herman and even high school marching bands covering the energetic tune. Celebrate to the 40 year anniversary of [lastfm]Chicago[/lastfm]’s hit tune “25 Or 6 To 4” by watching the band perform below!