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Two disc overview
on 20 July 2007
Until now, if you wanted an overview of the Electric Prunes' output prior to Mass In F Minor, the obvious choice was the compilation Lost Dreams on the Birdman label. Largely drawn from their two magnificent albums from 1967, including their surrealistic American hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), it included later singles, rarities, unreleased items and extended versions of album tracks. Inevitably, certain favourite tracks from the albums were omitted, however.
This new anthology from Rhino has the luxury of being spread over two discs and therefore includes both stereo albums in full, namely I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night and Underground. Listeners can therefore hear from themselves why the band were so embarrassed at being made to record Al Jolson covers and vaudeville pastiches, whilst also enjoying omitted classics such as Bangles, Children Of Rain, Antique Doll and I, all in the high quality re-mastered sound that Lost Dreams introduced onto CD, this time by Dan Hersch.
The albums are both presented in their standard versions, so if you want to hear fuller versions of Hideaway, The Great Banana Hoax and Dr Do-Good you still need Lost Dreams, though the long stereo version of Long Day's Flight has been added (confusingly mislabeled as a mono single version). A number of A-sides and B-sides from both albums are also added in their original mono single mixes, including the fabulous Great Banana Hoax (again mislabeled as being a previously unreleased version).
Rarities again include Shadows, which played over the credits of the film The Name Of The Game Is Kill; both sides of their first single Ain't It Hard/Little Olive; two outtakes (an unreleased Hollies cover, I've Got A Way Of My Own, and World Of Darkness, though this time both presented in mono); and their final 1967 single, Everybody Knows/You Never Had It Better.
This comprehensively rounds up the most seismic chapters of their history, up to the end of 1967. Mass In F Minor, as its title suggests, introduced a very different sound and a very different band, but that is a another story.