The Electric Prunes have an interesting yet sad story. Isn’t that the story of rock and roll? Their self-titled debut album also known as I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) came out in 1967, but by 1968 the band changed drastically.
The Electric Prunes were discovered literally in their garage. They were great as musicians, but lacked as songwriters. Of course, the record studio hired songwriters Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz to write most of their songs.
The women songwriters wrote “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)“, a hit for the band. If the guys had written it, then it would probably have been called “I Had Too Much to Drink (Last Night)”. I think the latter makes more sense for a rock band.
In my sexist opinion, it was not a bright idea having a female duo as the songwriters for a band of men. “Onie” what the hell is that about? It sounds like the band and the songwriters did not match. I read that the band liked to be more experimental with music, but it seemed they were being held back by the studio and the women songwriters.
“Train for Tomorrow” and “Luvin‘” are the only songs that I sort of liked on the whole album. Maybe it is an album that needs more time than I can give it at the moment.
Sadly, they had completely new members by the fourth album that was released in 1968. If I was the original Electric Prunes, I would have broken up and moved back home to the garage, changed our name, get a songwriter to join and start it all over again.
Everything is in place, but the album feel disjointed. I like the vocals, the psychedelic music is good and the band sounds professional. Yet, it does not completely work for me. None of the songs yank my heart or my head. 5/10.
Update: I listened to the the extra songs on the CD Bonus Tracks. There are two gems “Little Olive” and “Ain’t It Hard” that are missing from the original album. My score if I add these two songs is 6.5/10.