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The Electric Prunes - 'The Electric Prunes'

Updated: May 26, 2021

Album: The Electric Prunes

Artist: The Electric Prunes

Release Date: February, 1967

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Length: 0:29:47

Label: Reprise Records

Producer: David Hassinger

1,001 Album Book: Yes

Psychedelia at its finest...

The Electric Prunes (A.K.A, I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)), is the debut album by the band The Electric Prunes. The album charted at #113 on the US Billboard 200 and provided the band's most famous hit with "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)".

Opening the entire album with none other than "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)" gives the listener the undeniable sound of The Electric Prunes. The song starts with a warbling synth sound, a triangle playing throughout, with the warbling mimicking the lead vocalists words, all in an eerie fashion. The song explodes with a drum/tambourine mix into the chorus which features heavily psychedelic instrumentation such as the distorted guitar, the various drones of eastern sounding instruments and the buzz of all the instruments combined. The track is a psychedelic anthem that does a tremendous job at catching the feel of the late 60s.

The second track, "Bangles", combines the sound of surf rock and psychedelic influences. The song features a massive tempo change throughout, going from a fast surfing sound to a swing like tempo with heavy tambourine use. An organ comes in towards the end, which has the song fade off into a creepy abyss, carrying on their psychedelia sound.

The third track, "Onie", has the band laying further down in a more mellow tune, with the use of a melodic guitar, toned down drum beats and a mystical feel from the lead singer. The song is still very psychedelic rock and less chaotic than the prior songs. It's a rather beautiful song seemingly about a kid named "Onie", possibly one of the band members' children.

An indistinguishable 60s sound, The Electric Prunes adopted one of the most infamous psychedelic rock sounds in history. The song "Train for Tomorrow" screams the 60s era and sound. The use of resonating sounds throughout, largely tom-based drum patterns, the distortion from the guitar throughout the verses, the plucking away at the bass and the heavily reverberated vocal effect, all with the singing of the guitar solo bring forth a sound that is unique to the times.

While the album is produced flawlessly, the sound that emits with each track adds to the entire vibe of the record. The resonating and far away sounds only make this album more trippy than if they recorded it cleanly. The sense of uncomfortability throughout due to this effect is evident in the track "Sold to the Highest Bidder". The vocalist sounds as though he is standing far away, almost removed from the track while the guitar is right in your face allowing you to see the guitar as another player in the story that is being told.

The second most popular song on the album is "Get Me to the World on Time" and features a more angered style of playing than the other tracks. A frantic song with a strained vocal style from the lead singer, James Lowe, makes this song give off an early heavy metal sound, which is vastly different from a lot of the other tracks on the album.

The second half features a lot more interesting songs that have different sounds than the first. For example, "The King Is in the Counting House" has the sound of a medieval castle sound, and "Luvin'" that brings forth a country-western sound throughout. These differences in style keep each song on the album interesting, even on multiple playthroughs.

This album is a 1960s unknown masterpiece. Most tracks on the album have almost vanished in the public eye causing the group to be an unrecognized influencer for future artists. The style they emit across the entire record surely influenced heavy metal groups, pop artists and punk bands all the same. The Electric Prunes is a revolutionary album that shows the psychedelic culture of the 1960s flawlessly and almost transports you to those times.

I enjoyed this album and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys the 1960s, or anyone that is into bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Kinks or The Who. Each song sounds different enough to keep the entire album's playtime exciting and while the production on the record isn't the best, it adds to the overall feel of the album. The Electric Prunes created a masterpiece that won't be forgotten in my dreams...

Favorite Songs: "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)", "Onie", "Luvin'"

Least Favorite Songs: "The Toonerville Trolley"

Production Quality:

  • Mix = 5.5/10

  • Innovation = 8/10

Songwriting Quality:

  • Arrangement = 8.5/10

  • Lyricism = 7/10

Instrumentation Quality:

  • Vocal Timbre = 7/10

  • Instrumental Timbre = 9/10

  • Group Chemistry = 8/10

Overall Likability:

  • My Personal Rating = 8.5/10

Overall Rating: 7.55/10

Any confusion on how the rating is weighted/calculated, please look at my "About" page.

Remember this is all my opinion! Let me know if you agree, disagree or have any comments!

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