Zager and Evans were a Lincoln, Nebraska rock-pop duo of the late 1960s and early 1970s named after its two members, Denny Zager and Rick Evans, who met at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Artists Dave Trupp and Mark Dalton backed up the duo.
Zager and Evans are best known for their immensely popular "In the Year 2525." written by Rick Evans. The song warned of the dangers of technology, portraying a future in which the human race would at length be destroyed by its own technological and medical innovations and Divine wrath. The last stanza of the song intimates a continuing cycle of birth, death and rebirth of mankind.
"In the Year 2525" hit number one on the pop charts in 1969. It claimed the #1 spot for six weeks, a remarkable achievement. It also topped the charts in the UK. Coincidentally, it was number one on , 1969 in the USA, the date of the first manned moon landing by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It was nominated for a special Hugo Award that same year.
The song was originally written in 1964 and recorded and released in 1967 on the Truth Records label. After a radio station in Odessa, Texas popularized the two-year old record, RCA Records distributed the song nationwide. Sales of the original hit recording (including singles sales, album usage and compilation inclusions) now total over 10 million units worldwide.
The B-side of the 45, "Little Kids," is a short but touching tale of childhood sweethearts.
The band signed with RCA records, who claimed they were "The Next Big Thing", but follow-up singles, such as "Mr. Turnkey" (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the jail wall as punishment for his crime) achieved only minor success. "In the Year 2525" was their only top 40 song.
Denny Zager and Rick Evans no longer perform as a duo, but they both remain in the music business and remain friends. Denny Zager now builds custom guitars.
"In the Year 2525" has been covered by industrial frontrunners Laibach on their album NATO as well as gothic rock frontrunners Fields of the Nephilim and new romantics Visage. In addition to these two bands, Project Pitchfork also covered it in the early 90's on their CD Dhyani.