Chicago — 25 or 6 to 4
Chicago’s accomplishments have been amazing by any standards in which they boast 20 Top Ten singles, 12 Top Ten albums (five of which were #1), and sales of more than 120 million records. And of course, 25 or 6 to 4 remains one of their biggest hits ever. Of their albums, 18 are gold, 13 are platinum, 12 have reached the top 10, and 5 have hit #1.
25 or 6 to 4, originally from Chicago II and later released in Chicago Greatest Hits, is a unique and popular hard-driving rock anthem from Chicago’s early years that remains the favorite of music lovers even today. With an offbeat title, keyboard player and singer Robert Lamm wrote the song; who remains the backbone and one of the longest surviving members of the group. 25 or 6 to 4 guitar lead and fabulous use of horns are the key factors behind the success of this song. The song lyrics have been a hot topic of discussion in which the fans have given their interpretation in many different ways.
The official version of the analysis given by the band on several occasions’ states that Robert Lamm woke up in the middle of the night with some hot thoughts about a melody buzzing through his head. He quickly jotted down 25 or 6 to 4 band tab for the melody so he would not forget it. The story goes that he sat there trying to figure out the words to go along with the melody and ended up writing about his frustrations to do so. By this time, it was «25 or 26 to 4» in the morning. Eventually, these thoughts became the lyrics of 25 or 6 to 4. The line «Waiting for the break of day» refers to early morning and the title refers to the time which is either 3:35AM (25 to 4) or 3:36AM (26 to 4).
However, another interpretation of the song ties it to an LSD trip. In the late 60’s and 70’s, LSD was a big thing, especially among rock and pop musicians and the number 25 was considered to be slang for LSD drug. «6 to 4» was linked to the number of hours the trip would last generally. Chicago has always denied and categorically claimed that 25 or 26 to 4 was never intended be linked with drugs.
After almost 4 decades of presence in the music world with many transitions and changes of band members, they are still active in producing some of the most appealing music for their fans. One of the big controversies remains between the ardent fans and critics is «why they have not been inducted into the Rock ’N’ Roll hall of fame in spite of making a tremendous contribution in this field».