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Albums Of The Week: The Electric Prunes | Then Came The Dawn – Complete Recordings 1966-1969

Get your fill (and more) of the ’60s psychedelic pop-rockers with this six-disc box.

Aside from their two bona fide hits — I Had Too Much (To Dream Last Night) and Get Me To The World On Time — I never really paid much attention to The Electric Prunes. I suspect I’m not alone. But maybe it’s time to give them a closer look. And obviously, there’s never been a better time.

The new six-disc anthology Then Came The Dawn – Complete Recordings 1966-1969 collects the band’s entire output, along with rarities, live tapes and demos. And even a cursory spin makes it clear they should be regarded as more than two-hit wonders. Tracks like Train For Tomorrow, Try Me On For Size and the magnificently titled Are You Lovin’ Me More (But Enjoying It Less) are hits that shoulda been, while plenty of other cuts find the group bouncing between garage-rock, psychedelia, paisley-pop and even folk and jazz. Maybe that lack of focus was one of their problems — that and the fact that they really, really overused that signature tremolo effect. Plus, evolving into a grandiosely overblown religious rock band probably didn’t help them either. At least, that’s where they lost me. But even if Then Came The Dawn ultimately taught me how much Electric Prunes is too much, it certainly enlightened me about the band.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “An extensive six-CD box set devoted to one of the key innovators of the ‘60s psychedelic sound featuring their entire output, rarities and demos.

Featuring the first CD issue of the mono mix of the Mass In F Minor, the collection also compiles the original dedicated mono 45 mixes, plus rare cuts, early demos, and extended takes, as well as the legendary live recording of the band captured in Stockholm during their European tour in late 1967, all lovingly remastered by Alec Palao.

To complement these unique psychedelic sounds the box set includes a comprehensive history of the group by Gray Newell, featuring in-depth recollections from original vocalist James Lowe, and from key member of the later incarnation of the band, Richard Whetstone, making this the definitive Electric Prunes collection.

The Electric Prunes came together in Southern California during 1966 and soon became regarded as one of the seminal US psychedelic groups, thanks to the hit singles I Had Too Much (To Dream Last Night) and Get Me To The World On Time. Through their various incarnations, the Prunes recorded five albums for the Reprise label between 1967 and 1969 with legendary producer Dave Hassinger helping to create their unique and distinctive psychedelic sound.

Under the direction of composer and arranger David Axelrod, the Prunes helped pioneer the religious rock genre with the Mass In F Minor and Release Of An Oath LPs. This collection brings together their entire output for the very first time, including stereo and mono versions of their first three albums.”