25 Or 6 To 4 (5:05)

Cover of The Chicago Story

From The Chicago Story and 144 other releases

“25 or 6 to 4” is a song written by Robert Lamm for the rock band Chicago. To this day, it is one of the most frequently played Chicago songs on classic rock and album-oriented rock stations. 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 1988 single “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?”.

Chicago fans have long argued about the meaning of the song. When it was released, there was speculation that the lyrics were drug-related; but the same thing was said about many songs in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the 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. Lamm was not above perpetuating the mythology of the song, though. In one interview, he referred to the song title as “a cricket score.


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  • rockandrolljoe

    25 6 4

    26 Apr 12:42pm Reply
  • Druid66

    A blast of pure Seventies mellow rock, if anything "mellow" can be said to "blast"... (-:

    24 Apr 4:21am Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    written by Robert Lamm

    10 Mar 10:42pm Reply
  • sharv11

    I remember our discussion about the lyrics Vinny...gosh, I miss those times, dear departed son of mine...

    20 Feb 11:08am Reply
  • theironictea


    18 Feb 1:53pm Reply
  • N0dr0g

    The best live act I've ever seen. Mothers, 1969

    6 Feb 10:07pm Reply
  • sharv11

    : )

    4 Feb 5:19am Reply
  • orses4corses

    This type of song made 'The Sixties' exciting and unique!

    26 Sep 2014 Reply
  • md1163

    From Wikipedia: Speculation that the song's lyrics are drug related 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.

    26 Sep 2014 Reply
  • supermediadave

    Does anybody really know what time it is...I mean the meaning of this song?

    23 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Vallyre

    Good tune...

    22 Sep 2014 Reply
  • sharv11

    <3 always

    21 Aug 2014 Reply

    Cool song!

    16 Aug 2014 Reply
  • singlem

    all time favorite

    4 Jul 2014 Reply
  • sharv11

    <3 forever Vinny

    27 May 2014 Reply
  • innercities

    got swept!

    24 Mar 2014 Reply
  • zoborey

    aaaah this wah solo... damn so great..

    23 Feb 2014 Reply
  • silversurfer250

    There are a lot of unsubstantiated rumors regarding the meaning behind this song's lyrics. A popular rumor is that "6 to 4" was a nickname for LSD, because if you dropped acid at 6 PM, the effects of the drug would wear off by 4 AM, 10 hours later. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1197

    31 Dec 2013 Reply
  • monkey92882

    One of my favorites. I always wondered what the song title really meant.

    20 Dec 2013 Reply
  • swendog79

    Don't blame Cetera totally wisaac5440. Producer DAVID FOSTER is a major villian in the story.

    4 Nov 2013 Reply
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