Release date
1 Jan 1985
Running length
6 tracks
Running time
26:58

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 25 O'Clock 5:02 10,710
2 Bike Ride to the Moon 2:22 10,512
3 My Love Explodes 3:54 8,126
4 What in the World??... 5:01 6,671
5 Your Gold Dress 4:42 6,879
6 The Mole from the Ministry 5:57 8,439

About this album

25 O’Clock is a mini-album from XTC which was released under the pseudonym The Dukes of Stratosphear, and was also the title song from that release. Joined by XTC member Dave Gregory’s brother Ian on drums, the Dukes indulged in the stylistic tropes of 1960s psychedelia, particularly the British variety.

Released on April Fools Day, 1985, the mini-album was a tongue in cheek homage to the heyday of psychedelic rock. Several of the tracks were made to sound like individual bands (like the Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd sound of “Bike Ride to the Moon”). Others were simply a pastiche of the styles of the period as a whole. Though recorded on contemporary 1980’s equipment, the mixing and overdubs closely replicate production techniques used in the mid-to-late 1960s. The album is also notable for its cover art (drawn by Partridge) which resembled the cover on the 1967 LP Disraeli Gears by Cream.

The band issued a single and made a promotional film for “The Mole from the Ministry” (a song that owes a great deal to The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus”).

The material on the 25 O’Clock mini-album (including the “hidden message” at the end of side two) was merged with the 1987 album Psonic Psunspot for release as Chips from the Chocolate Fireball: An Anthology on CD, simultaneous with Psonic Psunspot’s vinyl release.

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