It was this classic line-up of Lowe, Tulin, Williams, Spagnola and Ritter that released the next Prunes single - 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night' - which has epitomised '60s 'garage punk'. Written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, the song was originally demoed by Jerry Vale.
The oscillating, reverse-play guitar sound of 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night' came out of the the Leon Russell house session when the band were messing around. The single was released in November 1966. At first it was caught up in the Christmas rush but made steady progress up the U.S. charts and finally peaked at number 11. It also reached number 49 in the U.K. charts.
According to Ken Williams : "I have a 1958 Les Paul guitar, it's the only guitar that I play. It's worth about $50,000. I finally had to break down and start replacing some of the electronics. I bought that when the group was first staring for about $300. It has a Bigsby wiggle stick on it. That's where the sound came from at the beginning of 'Too Much to Dream'. That guitar had a lot of influence in what the group was to be come."
The success of this single led the Electric Prunes into more promotional activities. The band toured constantly, opened record shops and recorded adverts.
The opening line of "Here I go, higher and higher" forced upon the world the follow-up to 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night' - namely 'Get Me To The World On Time'. Unfortunately, the single didn't do as well commercially as 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night' in the U.S. but still reached a respectable number 27. 'Get Me To The World On Time' fared better in the U.K. than its predecessor by reaching number 42.
The success of these two singles led to numerous concert appearances around which the band fitted hurried recording sessions which culminated in the release of their debut LP in April 1967 - 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night'.
It appeared that the choice of songs were largely out of the band's control as seven of the twelve tracks were written by the songwriting partnership of Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz.
This debut album included many gems such as the two hit singles with their respective 'B' sides - 'Luvin'' and 'Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)', 'Bangles', 'Train For Tomorrow' (the only composition ever credited to all band members), 'Sold To The Highest Bidder' and 'Try Me On For Size'.
Some of the material on the album was a let down such as 'The Toonerville Trolley', 'The King Is In The Counting House', 'About A Quarter To Nine' and 'Onie'. Lowe and Tulin, who were the band's main songwriters, were frustrated by being restricted to only one song on the album - the superb 'Luvin''.
This all changed by the release of the next album in August 1967 - 'Underground'. It appeared Dave Hassinger had lost some interest in the band and gave them more artistic freedom and a greater say in the choice of songs. Tucker / Mantz were restricted to only three songs.
First to go was Preston Ritter. Ritter left mainly due to musical differences. He was offered the choice between being credited on the album cover with photo / name or have royalties from the album sales. He choose the royalties. Unfortunately, he got no album credits or royalties!!!
Preston Ritter's replacement was Quint - returning to the band for the second time. The band continued to record with this revised line-up with the return of Quint and Ed Thrasher captured the band in the recording studio. Actually Quint only played on five tracks on the albums - 'Children of Rain', 'Antique Doll', 'I', 'Captain Glory' and 'Long Day's Flight'.
Despite a change in personnel, the band continued to tour the US in the latter half of '67 playing prestigious clubs such as The Crystal Ballroom in Portland and The Pusi-Kat Club in San Antonio.