I Had Too Much to Dream - Reprise 67
The band's two own original songs on this album "Luvin '" and "Train of Tomorrow", are relatively simple garage-rock styled tracks.
Most of the songs are written by female songwriters Annette Tucker, Nancie Mantz and Jill Jones; probably Hassinger had no confidence that the group's own members were ready to deliver songs for an entire album. There is stylistically quite a large difference in these songs that in genre spans the garage rock / psychedelia to jazz and music hall. The album has often been criticized for this disparity; but actually the songwriting is so good that you can bear with this lack of obvious direction.
In addition to the two fine singles worth noting are especially "Are You Loving Me More," "Sold to the Highest Bidder" and "Try Me on for Size".
The quaint and very British "The King is in the Counting House" has often been cited as an example of a bad song choice. Personally, I think the song is pretty good; but it might as well have been given to a group like Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mich and Tich.
The group itself was to a higher extent allowed to contribute to the sequel "Underground", which may appear more homogeneous, but on the other hand, falling short on having fewer really good songs.
The Electric Prunes were an American Band who had their glory days in 1967-68. They released a good handful of singles of which two were quite successful; especially "I Had Too Much to Dream" will be remembered by fans of early psychedelia.
Musically they appeared to be in the front league of the new psychedelia sounds which were influencing pop-music in 1966-68. The band seemed to be like an American version of the sounds and styles that were developed by English bands such as the Yardbirds, Syd Barret's Pink Floyd or Tomorrow.
Their first album contains their highly original hit-singles "I Had Too Much to Dream" and "Get Me to the World on Time" and other fine compositions written by songwriter Annette Tucker along with Nancy Mantz and Jill Jones. Some tracks are stylistically close to the psychedelia approach of the singles whereas others are pure r&b/garage and others again pure pop à la Monkees or Herman's Hermits. This make the album somewhat uneven though the group generally handle the various styles well and the songwriting is quite good.
Bandmembers Jim Lowe and Mark Tulin wrote the Rolling Stones influenced "Luvin'" and one song was a group compositions. The rest of the album was written by outside composers. Among the bonus-tracks the debut single "Ain't it Hard"/"Little Olive" are great - both would have worked better on the album than the Davy Jones type ballads "Onie" and "About a Quarter to Nine". The outtake "I've Got a Way of my Own" written by the Hollies seems a little unfinished but is still a great track that suits the band well.
Recommended especially for fans of bands like Easybeats, Standells, Pink Floyd or rock music of the late 1960's in general.