ARTIST: The Electric Prunes
TITLE: Too Much to Dream – Original Group Recordings: 1966-1967
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None. Their original albums charted at 113 and 172.
SINGLES: Ain’t It Hard, I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) (#11 US, #49 UK), Get Me to the World on Time (#27 US, #42 UK), Dr. Do-Good (#128 US), The Great Banana Hoax, Everybody Knows You’re Not in Love, Shadows
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Are You Loving Me More (But Enjoying It Less) has been covered by garage bands since, including the Lime Spiders
LINEUP: James Lowe, Ken Williams, James Spagnola, Mark Tulin, Preston Ritter, Michael Weakley. Later on Mike Gannon and Joe Dooley joined to replace Spagnola and Ritter.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Band that recorded the seminal garage – fuzz – psychedelic anthem released two albums of varying quality and some singles (collected here) before their producer really screwed them over.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Electric Prunes will always be remembered not only for their name, but their contribution to the 60’s in “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)”, a blast of psychedelia / garage rock featuring distorted and wah-wah guitars that caught the ear of everyone (including Vox, which gave the Prunes an endorsement deal). Yet their first album was full of non-band written filler that is haphazard at best and ill-conceived at worst.
They wrote more of their second album, which was more cohesive but didn’t have a hit single. Then the fun began, where the band was drafted into creating a rock opera full of absolute nonsense, and since the producer owned the name, he basically fired them from their own band and recorded another abysmal rock opera and a final record of mediocre 60’s rock.
This collection covers their first two records (The Electric Prunes and Underground), which feature all of the cuts that made them trailblazers and legendary in the psychedelic scene. It’s hit and miss, but it’s worthwhile for historical reasons.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The rock operas are Mass in F Minor and Release of an Oath. Longer stories can be told about how the band lost the rights to their name. They’re just psychedelic hippy-dippy BS of the highest degree, and the band couldn’t deal with them, either.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B-: There’s interesting stuff here, especially the use of distortion, feedback and wah-wah that did inspire people. But man, that first album filler was just dreck, and the band knew it.