Before he became Patti Smith’s bass player, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years from 1965-1968, and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 105: Get Me to the World on Time by The Electric Prunes
Release Date: 1967
From: Los Angeles, California
Aphoristical Rating: 8/10
The Electric Prunes are one of the most well-known band featured on the Nuggets set. Their psychedelic #11 hit ‘I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)’ opens the track-list of the boxset, and ‘Get Me to the World on Time’ is their second entry.
The Electric Prunes started as a surf-rock/garage-rock outfit named the Sanctions. While rehearsing in a garage (obviously….) they met a real estate agent with music industry connections. They were introduced to producer Dave Hassinger, who made them change their name, and released their first single ‘Ain’t It Hard’. Signed to Reprise records, they released ‘I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)’ and then ‘Get Me To The World On Time’.
Both songs were contributed by outside writer Annette Tucker, who also wrote 1960s material for Tom Jones, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and Sonny & Cher. Tucker and Jill Jones wrote provocative lyrics for 1967, although to be fair “one kiss from you and my whole body starts to actin’ strange” is pretty tame compared to ‘W.A.P.’. The song title references ‘Get Me to the Church on Time’ from My Fair Lady.
The Electric Prunes’ fuzzy sound and the charismatic voice of James Lowe make them an enjoyable listen. The song is slight, but it’s fun hearing them adapt the Bo Diddley beat into a psychedelic record.
The Electric Prunes made two records as a band in the 1960s – both of the Nuggets tracks are drawn from 1967’s The Electric Prunes. The rest of their 1960s output is unconventional – they released two further records, 1968’s Mass in F Minor and Release of an Oath, under their name, but as a vehicle by classically trained musician David Axelrod. The group were disbanded by 1969’s Just Good Old Rock and Roll, but Hassinger owned the name and recruited an entirely new band. The Electric Prunes reunited in 1999 with the same lineup that recorded ‘Get Me To The World On Time’. They’re still active, with four records in the 21st century, although Lowe is the only remaining original member.