What a name. Even in an era of Blues Magoos, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Iron Butterfly (not to mention soul mate Led Zeppelin), the name Electric Prunes stood out as ridiculous. "Electric" was a "cool" word. But how did they get that matched with Prunes? What were they thinking? Clearly, they weren't. The drugs had taken over. And that led to their first success. "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" was one of those great "drug reference" songs that slipped through the mid '60s cracks. You could even hear singer James Lowe sucking air. The implication was obvious. The song, from the distorted guitar fade it to the echo laden breaks, was a psychedelic classic. Also, from the Electric Prunes first self-titled album was "Get Me To The World On Time." It too was a Rocker with guitarist Ken Williams using all the effects available at the time.
The Electric Prunes follow up was the revered "Underground" that contained "The Great Banana Hoax." The rumor claimed you could get high smoking dried banana skins. C'mon, it was the '60s.
The Electric Prunes' success might have continued but they began working with writer/arranger David Axelrod. He convinced the group to record "Mass In F-Minor." It was a real mass. At worst, they should have done a mass in a major key and gleaned a few hits. The "Mass In F-Minor" was too trippy for all but a few. And those people usually don't have money to buy records. On top of that, it was not very good.
"I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" is their claim to fame. The song is available on numerous compilations including the appropriately titled "Highs of the Sixties." But like many one-hit groups there's a little bit more to the Electric Prunes. Their self-titled debut and "Underground" are the best and most entertaining options showing the group's early psychedelic leanings. Avoid "Mass In F-Minor" (what were they thinking?) or "Release Of An Oath."