The Electric Prunes

The Electric Prunes ( I Had Too Much to Dream-Long Days Night)

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This, as much as Edsel's best-of compilation, should be the centerpiece of any Electric Prunes collection, combining their first two LPs onto one CD. I Had Too Much To Dream was a strong beginning, presenting both the band's pop-psychedelia and garage-punk sides. In addition to the title tune and "Get Me to the World on Time," that album was highlighted by "Onie," an unexpectedly sweet love song of the era (reminiscent of the Velvet Underground's "There She Goes Again"), the electric mandolin-driven "Sold to the Highest Bidder," the punk-edged "Luvin'," and the bluesy "Try Me on for Size." Some of the other songs haven't held up nearly as well -- "About a Quarter to Nine" could have been a Davy Jones-Monkees track, while "The King Is in the Counting House" and "The Toonerville Trolley" are silly psychedelia. The complete Underground is the real virtue of this disc -- "The Great Banana Hoax" is a powerful, snarling, fuzz-laden garage-punk masterpiece that even gives a nod to the Beatles' "A Day in the Life," and heralds the high point of the group's studio history. "Children of Rain" is one of a handful of psychedelic tunes to feature an electric autoharp, and it makes a special addition to a pretty fair song with a great beat; the Goffin-King "I Happen to Love You" could pass for a great lost Mike Nesmith-Monkees cosmic country song, and the rest of the songs, leading up to the punk concert favorite "Long Day's Flight," is filled with guitar sounds that shimmer and crunch.