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Electric Prunes

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Electric Prunes

The Electric Prunes were not so much a self-contained group as a front for some talented L.A. songwriters and producers; they by and large played the music on their records, but the vision and inspiration came from elsewhere. Nonetheless, they produced a few great psychedelic garage songs, especially the scintillating "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night," which mixed distorted guitars and pop hooks with inventive, oscillating reverb. Songwriters Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz wrote most of the Prunes' material, much of which in turn was crafted in the studio by Dave Hassinger, who had engineered some classic Rolling Stones sessions in the mid-'60s. "Too Much to Dream" was a big hit in 1967, and the psychedelized Bo Diddley follow-up "Get Me to the World on Time" was just as good, and also a hit. Nothing else by the group made it big, and their initial pair of albums were quite erratic, although a few scattered tracks were nearly as good as those singles. Although they began to write more of their own material on their second album, their subsequent releases were apparently the products of personnel that had little to do with the original lineup. Their third LP, Mass in F Minor, was a quasi-religious concept album of psychedelic versions of prayers; a definitively excessive period piece, its best song ("Kyrie Eleison") was lifted for the Easy Rider soundtrack. None of the original Prunes were still in the lineup when the band dissolved, unnoticed, at the end of the '60s.


 

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