25 O'Clock is an EP which was the first release of The Dukes of Stratosphear (a side project of the members of XTC), and was also the title song from that release. Joined by XTC member Dave Gregory's brother Ian Gregory 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. The songs were recorded on a 4-track machine using overdubs in order to replicate production techniques used in the mid-to-late 1960s and was 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.
All songs written by Sir John Johns, except where noted.
- Produced by John Leckie, Swami Anand Nagara and The DUKES
On the tribute album A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC, They Might Be Giants contributed a cover version of "25 O'Clock".
A demo version of "25 O'Clock" appears on the Andy Partridge rarities collection Fuzzy Warbles Volume 2, while demo versions of "Bike Ride To The Moon" and "My Love Explodes" appear on Fuzzy Warbles Volume 6.