Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Electric Prunes : Too Much To Dream Original Group Recordings Reprise 1966-1967 (2007)

The Electric Prunes are an American psychedelic rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965.
The band was signed to Reprise Records in 1966 and released their first single, "Ain't It Hard", in the latter part of the year. Their first album, The Electric Prunes, included the band's two nationally charting songs, "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)" and "Get Me to the World on Time".

With the appearance of their second album, Underground, the band was more free to create their own material. However, the original group disbanded by 1968 when they proved unable to record the innovative and complex arrangements by David Axelrod on the albums Mass in F Minor and Release of an Oath.

Both albums were released under the band's name, the rights to which were owned by their record producer David Hassinger, but were largely performed by other musicians. Several of the original band members reconvened in 1999 and began recording again. The band still performs occasionally, although the only remaining original member is lead singer James Lowe.

[For a band that scored two major hit singles in their first year as recording artists, the Electric Prunes were given precious little respect by their record label, Reprise Records; the group was allowed to perform a mere two original tunes on their debut album I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night), and when their second, Underground, didn't sell, they became glorified session men under composer and arranger David Axelrod on Mass in F Minor.
When the Prunes couldn't play Axelrod's charts to his satisfaction, they were replaced by session men, and the original bandmembers weren't even invited to participate on two "Electric Prunes" albums later released by Reprise, Release of an Oath and Just Good Old Rock and Roll.

Despite it all, the Electric Prunes' best work is still the stuff of legend among garage rock enthusiasts, and with good reason -- the freaked-out, fuzz-enhanced guitar lineup of Ken Williams, Jim Lowe and Weasel Spagnola created a wild and distinctive sound most of their peers would envy, and they fused the energy of the garage generation and the sonic experimentation of the burgeoning psychedelic scene with a skill few have matched before or since.

Reprise finally gives the genuine Electric Prunes the tribute they deserve with Too Much to Dream -- Original Group Recordings: Reprise 1966-1967, a two-disc set that features the albums I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) and Underground in their entirety, as well as handful of non-LP singles, unreleased tracks and monophonic mixes.

Disc one, featuring the debut album, is more enjoyable, featuring the group's biggest hits and most memorable tunes, but Underground suggests the real tragedy that the Prunes were not allowed to follow their own muse in the studio again -- the group sounds tighter, more creatively unified and more mature on Underground, and it's not hard to imagine they could have had several more fine albums in them if they'd had the chance to chart their own path.

As it is, this set collects some superb and atypical '60s garage stuff, the bonus material is solid and intriguing if not always revelatory, Jim Lowe and Mark Tulin tell the band's story in the thick liner booklet, and the Prunes' famous radio ad for Vox wah-wah pedals even makes the cut.

This is a first-rate anthology from a wildly underrated band, and folks with a jones for mid-'60s rock will want to find room for this in their collections.

AllMusic Review by Mark Deming] 

The Electric Prunes – Too Much To Dream Original Group Recordings: Reprise 1966-1967
Label: Rhino Records (2) – 8122-74882-2, Reprise Records ?– 8122-74882-2
Format: 2 CD, Compilation
Country: UK & Europe
Released: 2007
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock.

CD 1.

01. I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
02. Bangles
Written-By – J. Walsh
03. Onie
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
04. Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
05. Train For Tomorrow
Written-By – Spagnola, Williams, Tulin, Preston Ritter, Lowe
06. Sold To The Highest Bidder
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
07. Get Me To The World On Time
Written-By – Tucker, Jones
08. About A Quarter To Nine
Written-By – Dubin, Warren
09. The King Is In The Counting House
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
10. Luvin'
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
11. Try Me On For Size
Written-By – Annette Tucker, Jill Jones (2)
12. Tunerville Trolley
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
13. Ain't It Hard
Written-By – Tillison, Tillison
14. Little Olive
Written-By – Lowe
15. World Of Darkness
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
16. I've Got A Way Of My Own (Outtake)
Written-By – Ransford
17. Luvin' (Mono Single Version)
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
18. I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
19. Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less) (Mono)
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
20. Get Me To The World On Time (Mono)
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
21. Vox Wah Wah Pedal Radio Spot (Hidden Track)

CD 2.
01. The Great Banana Hoax
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
02. Children Of Rain
Written-By – Williams, Williams
03. Wind-Up Toy
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
04. Antique Doll
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
05. It's Not Fair
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
06. I Happen To Love You
Written-By – Goffi/King
07. Dr. Do-Good
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
08. I
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
09. Hideaway
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
10. Big City
Written-By – T. Walsh, Walsh
11. Captain Glory
Written-By – Lowe
12. Long Day's Flight
Written-By – Yorty, Michael "Quint" Weakley
13. Everybody Knows (You're Not In Love)
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
14. You Never Had It Better
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
15. Shadows
Written-By – Gordo, Phillips
16. Dr. Do-Good
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
17. Hideaway
Written-By – Tucker, Mantz
18. Wind-Up Toy
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
19. The Great Banana Hoax (Alternate Version)
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe
20. Long Days Flight
Written-By – Tulin, Lowe


CD1: Tracks 1-12 released on Reprise album "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" RS 6248 (mono/stereo), April 1967.

CD2: Tracks 1-12 released on Reprise album "Underground" RS6262 (mono/stereo), August 1967.

CD1. Take it HERE

CD2. Take it HERE

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