The Electric Prunes had scored a hit in 1966 with "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)", and released a splendid debut album the next year. Most of its songs (including the single) had been written by the outside songwriting team of Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, and when it came for the band to record their follow-up album they were keen for it to include more of their own material. When Underground came out just four months after their debut it featured many more original songs, alongside three Mantz/Tucker numbers and a Goffin/King composition.
It continued in the same distinctive style of garage psychedelia, though the band began to experiment with the studio much more, utilising more unusual sound effects and recording techniques. Combined with occasional snatches of childhood imagery, it led to something really quite dark and eerie, with moments of both quiet menace and over-the-top psychedelic madness. The band had undergone a few line-up changes during the making of the album - drummer Preston Ritter had been replaced by Michael Weakley (who had actually already been in an earlier version of the band), and guitarist James Spagnola had been replaced by Mike Gannon.
This new artistic freedom let them craft an album closer to their true vision, though its fair to say it had less catchy pop hooks than its predecessor, and this unfortunately translated to low sales and no hit singles.
The Electric Prunes (1967) <|> Mass In F Minor (1968)
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