The ELECTRIC PRUNES – ” I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) ” Released November 1966

Posted: March 5, 2018 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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The Electric Prunes came together in Southern California during 1966 and soon became regarded as one of the seminal US psychedelic groups, thanks to the hit singles ‘I Had Too Much (To Dream Last Night)’ and ‘Get Me To The World On Time’.

Through their various incarnations, the Prunes recorded five albums for the Reprise label between 1967 and 1969 with legendary producer Dave Hassinger helping to create their unique and distinctive psychedelic sound.

Under the direction of composer and arranger David Axelrod, the Prunes helped pioneer the Religious Rock genre with the “Mass In F Minor” and “Release Of An Oath” LPs. This collection brings together their entire output for the very first time, including stereo and mono versions of their first three albums.

As the opening track on the compilation NUGGETS, “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” introduced many to garage rock; a few years before that seminal compilation, it helped introduce The Electric Prunes as the title track to their debut album The title is a pun on having “too much (alcohol) to drink”: its lyrics describe how the singer has woken from dreaming about an ex-lover. The 1967 Reprise collection also included the Seattle-to-Los Angeles transplants’ other Top 40 hit, “Get Me To The World On Time,” along with material by pro songwriters Annette Tucker and Nancy Mantz that showed the quintet were game for ballads (“Onie”) and novelties (“Tunerville Trolley”) as well as tough rockers. A half-century on, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) still remains electrifying to this day.

At the time, the Electric Prunes comprised singer James Lowe, lead guitarist Ken Williams, rhythm guitarist James “Weasel” Spagnola, bassist Mark Tulin, and drummer Preston Ritter. The oscillating, reversed guitar which opens the song originated from the rehearsals at Leon Russell’s house, where Williams recorded with a 1958 Gibson Les Paul guitar with a Bigsby vibrato unit. According to Lowe,

“We were recording on a four-track, and just flipping the tape over and re-recording when we got to the end. Dave cued up a tape and didn’t hit ‘record,’ and the playback in the studio was way up: ear-shattering vibrating jet guitar. Ken had been shaking his Bigsby wiggle stick with some fuzztone and tremolo at the end of the tape. Forward it was cool. Backward it was amazing. I ran into the control room and said, ‘What was that?’ They didn’t have the monitors on so they hadn’t heard it.

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