25 Or 6 To 4…80s Style

25 Or 6 To 4…80s Style

Growing up in the 1980s, my first exposure to the band Chicago was through their megahit ballads. “You’re the Inspiration”, “Hard Habit to Break”, and “Will You Still Love Me?” were constantly on the radio and MTV. Seeing as how I kept my stereo tuned in to the top 40 stations constantly, these power chord love songs shaped my perception of Chicago’s musical style.

As I got older, I learned more about Chicago’s earlier tone, which was a stark contrast to the sound they had in the 80s. More of a jazz/rock hybrid, the Chicago of the 70s was perhaps best exemplified by the classic song “25 or 6 to 4”. The percussive bass line, brilliant horns, and stellar guitar solo are a far cry from Chicago’s later work, and I grew to appreciate the band’s earlier style as much as nostalgia fueled my love for the later stuff.

Just a few weeks ago, I found a Chicago gem that manages to mix the 70s and 80s sounds together into a glorious fusion of funk and pop. In 1986, the band remastered “25 or 6 to 4” in a more high-tech style, and the end result is glorious. The high concept sci-fi music video adds even more to the allure, featuring the “distant” future world of 2036 as imagined in 1986. It’s obviously inspired by Orwell’s 1984 but with a dash of big hair thrown in for good measure.

It’s hard to believe we are now closer to 2036 than we are to 1986. Perhaps that is the appeal of this remixed version of “25 or 6 to 4”. Just like the protagonists, when I watch the video on Youtube, or play the music on my phone, I can travel through time, even if it’s just for a few moments.

[Via] minibaby207???

Marc Allie

I am an educator in southwest Missouri, and a lifelong geek. I own dozens of Optimus Prime toys, have watched every Godzilla film multiple times, and keep a lovingly bagged collection of over 1800 comic books in my office closet.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Are those opening few seconds of cityscape taken from Blade Runner?

  2. It’s amazing how much Jason Scheff sounds like Peter Cetera, despite the huge age difference.

    I’m like you – born in 1982, grew up watching MTV, saw Chicago music videos on TV and heard them on the radio. The trumpets of Chicago were always something I knew and could recognize. I’ve been listening to their music for years, and it never gets old.

    I’m going to see Chicago and Earth, Wind, and Fire on September 6th in Atlantic City, NJ. It was expensive, but justified because of the two headliner groups. I’m looking forward to seeing them in person (especially Scheff, since he’s the lead singer I grew up with).

    I’ve never really given this version a chance before, but after seeing it to the music video, I’ve changed my mind. Incredible what that can do for you!!! I will always hold the 1970s version in my heart, but this one will earn its place on my iPod.

    From one newbie writer to another, welcome!!

  3. Max – I am not certain if it is actual lifted footage, but at the very least it seems the whole video is inspired by the tech noir stuff like Blade Runner.

    Allison – thanks for the welcome! I am quite jealous of you getting to see Chicago live. We got to see U2 earlier this summer and it was fantastic. Let us know how they sound!

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