12 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With its Rolling Stones-y vocal, oscillating guitar intro, and raga influence, the powerhouse title tune (penned by the outside songwriting duo Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz) will forever keep this band and their debut album secured in '60s rock ’n’ roll history. The Electric Prunes weren’t oddballs like The Seeds, nor were they as creative as, say, Love, but this recording has a Southern California psych magic that is, at times, ethereal if not eerie, and it’s pop as all get out. For example, “Bangles” features an airy roundelay of dirty guitar runs, tempo changes, Motown-style beats, and an overtly baroque chorus, and the psyched-out surf and Eastern modes of “Sold to the Highest Bidder” is so relentless it becomes a sonic kaleidoscope. There’s also heavy orchestral pop (“Onie,” “The King Is in the Counting House”), let’s-break-curfew garage punk (“Get Me to the World on Time,” “Try Me on for Size”), dark pop with a jazzy twist (“Train for Tomorrow”), Brit Invasion lite (“About a Quarter to Nine”), and a finale that’s all cotton candy (“The Toonerville Trolley”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

With its Rolling Stones-y vocal, oscillating guitar intro, and raga influence, the powerhouse title tune (penned by the outside songwriting duo Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz) will forever keep this band and their debut album secured in '60s rock ’n’ roll history. The Electric Prunes weren’t oddballs like The Seeds, nor were they as creative as, say, Love, but this recording has a Southern California psych magic that is, at times, ethereal if not eerie, and it’s pop as all get out. For example, “Bangles” features an airy roundelay of dirty guitar runs, tempo changes, Motown-style beats, and an overtly baroque chorus, and the psyched-out surf and Eastern modes of “Sold to the Highest Bidder” is so relentless it becomes a sonic kaleidoscope. There’s also heavy orchestral pop (“Onie,” “The King Is in the Counting House”), let’s-break-curfew garage punk (“Get Me to the World on Time,” “Try Me on for Size”), dark pop with a jazzy twist (“Train for Tomorrow”), Brit Invasion lite (“About a Quarter to Nine”), and a finale that’s all cotton candy (“The Toonerville Trolley”).

TITLE TIME
2:59
2:29
2:42
2:25
3:02
2:23
2:32
2:13
2:01
2:04
2:22
2:34

About The Electric Prunes

Though they got considerable input from talented L.A. songwriters and producers, with their two big hits penned by outside sources, the Electric Prunes did by and large play the music on their records, their first lineup writing some respectable material of their own. On their initial group of recordings, 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 was 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 who 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. ~ Richie Unterberger

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1965

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