It's been talked about in their recent anthology special,on TV
Wikipedia has a short summary
"....The song is about trying to write a song in the middle of the night. The song's writer, Robert Lamm, had recently written another Chicago hit, "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", and this title serves as the answer.
It's the time of day in which the song is set: 25 or 26 minutes before 4 AM.
Because of the unique phrasing of the song's title, "25 or 6 to 4" has been incorrectly speculated to be a veiled reference to drug quantities, or a mystical allusion.
The 1986 music video for the song references the correct meaning at its beginning..."
The Rhino vinyl reissue of Chicago Transit Authority which includes "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" is a real winner! Thanks for sharing that factoid. Cheers,
Thanks for the reply. Still, it is a very strange reference. Drugs probably had something to do with it.
Remember In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida? It was supposed to be called "In a garden of Eden". I think they said that had to do with alcohol.
ozzy, I'm curious what you think of the SQ of that remix.
The sound quality is better than any previous version. I just wish the drums were recorded better. They can sound like bongos at times.
What does it mean? It means you’re taking Robert Lamm (the songs writer) way yonder too seriously. ;-)
Which HD download did the OP pick of Chicago II?
There is a new/just released 2017 remastering by Steve Wilson that is supposed to be 'da bomb'.
like most critics, i'd generally (and unfairly) dismissed chicago as aor drivel. however after listening to the steve wilson remaster i was curious enough to listen again to their first and third albums and was struck by how listenable they are. there's a lot of aimless instrumentals and the big hits are profoundly overexposed, but there's are a lot of good deep tracks (including an uncanny csny rip on the third record) and terry kath is sort of an overlooked ace on guitar.
I probably am. Its just such a odd title for a song.
Yes, the download is the Steve Wilson remaster.
I guess it has to do with what age and place in life you were at the time it was released. I remember in High School that some guys were getting excited because they were playing trumpets in the High School band. I guess they thought that they were now cool / hip...?
Blood, Sweat, & Tears, and then Chicago (who sprung up in the wake of the success of B,S,&T), were really a Godsend for the guys playing horn in the High School marching band. Historically considered squares/nerds, it was suddenly okay to be a trumpet or trombone player. Saxes were different, always a cool Rock ’n’ Roll/Jump Blues instrument.
Loomisjohnson, just wish to opine on your comment "terry kath is sort of an overlooked ace on guitar". Kath was, and still is considered one of the great guitar prodigies of rock music. He was the heart and soul of Chicago's drive. Jimi Hendrix himself after a show reportedly said that Kath was better than him (true story, who knows?). Dozens of articles over the years with titles like "most underrated guitarist", "greatest guitar player you never heard" etc. attest to the respect Kath received and so rightly deserved. Much like the Allman Brothers I feel Chicago died along with Terry Kath although the ABB recovered more completely over time. While Cetera is an outstanding bassist and Lamm's keyboard skills are without question I have always felt both would have been better off writing for Barry Manilow once Kath's intensity was taken from Chicago. So to sum up, while I am with you 100% on "guitar ace", not so much on "overlooked" unless we stipulate "among those who are only aware of music after 1978". Anyway, thanks for mentioning him. The fact he is still being discussed 35 years after a way too short career shows his true impact.
BTW, I have downloaded the recent Steve Wilson remix and it does sound mighty fine in my car. I have to wait for my soundcard to come back from repair to listen on my home system and compare it to my vinyl original.
The thing about "horn bands" is that, since the horn players are full members of the band, it is apparently felt that they must play on every song, whether or not the song benefits from them doing so. Whereas The Beatles in their later years would occasionally have a song part played by a horn (Penny Lane, Savoy Truffle, etc.) for a musical reason, horn bands have to give the horn players something to play on every song. I don't care for that concept. I felt the same way about the string players in ELO. It's putting the band members before the music itself, rather common in Rock music, imo.
joe crowe, you're better informed than me, so i appreciate your input. what i'm trying to convey is that unlike the excrable bs&t, the early chicago was kind of interesting and punk--the horns were sort of a disciplined counterpart to the wild guitar and bass. plus the singers were sort of off-key-but-good in a white guy with soul sort of way.
The Terry Kath years were pivotal for this band. We music lovers are left w/ a treaure of catalog material. CTA, specifically, is one of the most important debut albums of the Rock era.
I thought I heard once it was about getting drubbed in a softball game. Would have been that big ball in a gloveless game in Chicago.