Deviled Ham's "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" was one of a slew of late-1960s 'psychsploitation' releases. What distinguished this one from much of the competition was the fact it was so bad it was actually fun to listen to. Yeah, that sounded kind of nonsensical, but listen to it a couple of times and tell me you don't agree.
Released by Jeffrey Katz and Jerry Kasenetz's Super K label, musically the album featured a series of covers given 'psych' production touches - some more successful than others. The goal clearly wasn't to come up with anything that was particularly creative, or original, rather to cash-in on the buying public's rapidly fading interest in psychedelia. As lead singer Rick Desilets was actually pretty good, at times recalling a less intense version of Jim Morrison. Don't laugh until you've check out the opener 'Come On In', or 'Port Of Ghost Ships'.
- Opening up with an ominous Ray Manzarek-styled organ pattern, the band's cover of Sean Bonniwell's 'Come On In' started things out on a high note. A nice base for Desilets' Morrison-styled snarling delivery. No special effects; just a psych-flavored slice of blues. Shame they didn't stick to this pattern for the rest of the album.
- Apparently meant to be jarring, their cover of 'Alligator Wine' simply came off as dumb; Desilet's raspy delivery coupled with the screeching backing vocals and sophomoric sound efforts were about as threatening as a Scooby Doo cartoon episode.
- 'Frenzy' suffered from much the same fate, except this time out Desilet and company sounded like a bunch of senior citizens on a weeklong bender. Desilet himself sounded like he was singing with a mouth full of sand. At least the song was short.
- 'Ohh My Soul' may hold the distinction of being the worst Little Richard cover I'd ever heard. Simply dreadful. Little Richard should have sued for character assassination.
- Just when you were starting to think it couldn't get much worse the band responded with the country-flavored 'Ohh Licky Licky Wah'. Yeah, it definitely got worse with this stinker.
- Thankfully 'Port Of Ghost Ships' found the group returning to their Doors-inspired sound. With DeSilets again doing his best Morrison impression the song was full of pompous, mock-Doors imagery. Very nice..
- Apparently meant as a tribute to Edgar Allen Poe, side two's 'The Raven' featured a side-long suite that somewhat haphazardly cobbled together a martial paced cover of The Electric Prunes title track (complete with goofy mid-section narrative) and the instrumental theme from 'Rosemary's Baby'. Surprisingly bland and boy did it seem to go on forever.
All told pretty horrific, but not without some camp entertainment value.
"I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" track listing:
1.) Come On In (Sean Bonniwell) - 3:30
2.) Alligator Wine (Leiber - Stoller) - 3:39
3.) Frenzy (Hill - Stevenson) - 1:57
4.) Ohh My Soul (R. Penniman) - 2:00
5.) Ohh Licky Licky Wah (V. Medbury Jr.) - 1:37
6.) Port Of Ghost Ships (V. Medbury Jr.) - 2:35
1.) The Raven:
a.) I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (Tucker - Mantz) -
b.) Rosemary's Baby (C. Komeda)