I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (1966)

Electric Prunes

The Electric Prunes
Air your thoughts on this DNA Source Song™ or suggest another worthy of the designation at Rock Populi.

Much like the year it was released, “I Had Too Much To Dream” was caught between eras.

The corduroy-pants-and-peacoat Folk-Rock trend was dying as quickly as it had been born. Hints of psychedelia were popping like little flash bulbs at the edges of reality. And old-line pop was still waltzing around the Top 100 charts.

In fact, Annette Tucker, one of the song’s composers, also wrote for Frank Sinatra, The Brady Bunch and even Roy Rogers. “I Had Too Much To Dream,” was imagined as a rocker by Tucker, although she wasn’t in on the psychedelicizing of the tune.

“Dream” turned into an anthem of early acid-and-sun-drenched Southern California Valley Rock. Even the group that made it famous, The Electric Prunes, carried its ultra-hip, super-groovy name like a bright bauble of a badge. (The whole prune thing was part of a spate of genre jokes that were based on fruits. One instance from the mid-1960s: Why did the raisin go out with the prune? Because she couldn’t find another date.)

From the opening wobbling guitar to the phase shifting of the vocals and some of the instrumentals, you’ve been tagged: this is a psychedelic song. The singer adds an air of mystery and disorientation. The lover is gone, gone, gone… and in many ways, the singer is gone in a much more spiritual way. He’s so lost, he’s out there on Planet X, his guitar strings – and heart strings – thrumming to the sound of the celestial spheres.

“I Had Too Much To Dream” is a very entertaining period piece, well put together, and hitting all the right freaky, stoned out, tripping crazy notes.

The one other reasonably memorable Prunes’ song that pierced the surface of popular culture was a song featured in the landmark 1969 youth film, Easy Rider. First released in 1968, that song was called “Kyrie Eleison,” part of a larger, psychedelic version of the traditional Catholic Latin Mass In F Minor. 

“I Had Too Much To Dream, (Last Night)” lyrics:

Last night your shadow fell upon my lonely room
I touched your golden hair and tasted your perfume
Your eyes were filled with love the way they used to be
Your gentle hand reached out to comfort me

Then came the dawn
And you were gone
You were gone, gone, gone
I had too much to dream last night
Too much to dream
I’m not ready to face the light
I had too much to dream
Last night
Last night

The room was empty as I staggered from my bed
I could not bear the image racing through my head
You were so real that I could feel your eagerness
And when you raised your lips for me to kiss
Came the dawn
And you were gone
You were gone, gone, gone