Reviews: The Dukes of Stratosphear: 25 O'Clock
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Friday, September 20, 2002

25 o'clock - The Dukes of Stratosphear
Recorded on authentic equipment, using period instruments and effects, this album distils every single drop of 1960's musical psychedelia into a perfect 6 track mini-album. Xtc pay tribute to their boyhood heroes by becoming the group they dreamed of being when they were schoolboys. Not one duff moment.

Achim Färber
circa 2000

The Dukes Of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock 1985
Andy Partridge ist der Kopf von XTC. Und wenn es ihm langweilig wurde mit
seiner genialen Band, dann machte er Soloalben, oder nahm mit den XTC Jungs
unter dem Pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratophear zwei Alben auf, wobei das
MiniAlbum 25 O'Clock'der Oberhammer ist! es klingt wie zu Hochzeiten der
Swingin'60's eingespielt, mit genialem Songwriting und mitstilsicherer Hand
eingespielt. Muss man haben !!!

Valley Mag


A funky name for a funky band. Title song is great and extremely catchy. The rest of the album sounds like XTC, Beatles, 3 o'clock, and Dream Syndicate thrown in a blender and set for Frappe. (Look at your blender buttons if you don't understand). Basically a real good album with entertaining tunes. Don't pay over $7 for it though. (Em T. Grave)

copyright 1985
[Thanks to]

Musician #81
July 1985
Rock Short Takes

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR 25 O'Clock (Virgin Import)

According to the liner notes, "It's time to visit the planet smile," so excuse yourself from Paisley Park and prepare yourself for an intentionally funny psychedelic revival. The Dukes, who bear more-than-passing resemblance to XTC, know all the best jokes, from the light-hearted Beatle-isms of "What In The World?" to the Dark Side stereo tick-tock of the title cut. Yet there's enough affection for these affectations that these six songs remain listenable even as you laugh. A sure antidote to everyone else's flashbacks. - J. D. Considine

[Thanks to David Oh]

Edmonton Journal
May 9, 1985
p. C7

'60s send-up untimely hit

25 O'Clock
The Dukes of Stratosphear

Holy Magical Mystery Tour!

If, like me, you have a soft spot for the bonehead grandeur of bands like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Iron Butterfly and the Electric Prunes, then you're ripe for 25 O'Clock.

Encased in the most psychedelic sleeve since Cream's Disraeli Gears O'Clock is an affectionate six-tune send-up of the music, magic and madness of the flower-powered '60s, as conceived and executed by Britain's cheeky XTC (aka The Dukes).

On one level, the Dukes seem part of a neopsychedelic revival, right up there with Stephen Sprouse mini-skirts, Keith Haring graphics and the acid-rock flavoring of bands as varied as the Furs, the Bunnymen, U ("I started a landslide in my ego")2 and Prince.

Still none of these elements are part of a bonafide scene as they may have been 15 or 20 years ago. As a result 25 O'Clock doesn't have the potency, both as parody and as an engaging chunk of vinyl in its own right, that it could have had had it been issued, say, in 1970.

Still, it is wonderful, chockful of phase-shifted vocals, tinkly harpsichords, modal guitar figures, eerie mellotron washes, acid-inspired tape effects and deliriously nonsensical lyrics rife with words like "vibrations," "flow" and "rainbow." My fave rave is Your Gold Dress, a five-minute blend of In-a-Gadda-da-Vida, Downtown and Summer Wind (not to mention The Who and the Moodys) that has to be heard to be believed. Obviously.

James Adams

[Thanks to Kenn Scott]

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