The Electric Prunes are an American psychedelic rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965. Much of the band's music was, as music historian Richie Unterberger described it, possessed of "an eerie and sometimes anguished ambiance" Combining elements of psychedelia and electronic rock, the band's sound was marked by innovative recording techniques with fuzz-toned guitars and oscillating sound effects. In addition, guitarist Ken Williams' and singer James Lowe's concept of "free-form garage music" provided the band with a richer sonic palette and exploratory lyrical structure than many of their contemporaries.
The band was signed to Reprise Records in 1966 and released their first single, "Ain't It Hard", in the latter part of the year. Their first album, The Electric Prunes, included the band's two nationally charting songs, "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)" and "Get Me to the World on Time". With the appearance of their second album, Underground, the band was more free to create their own material.
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.