From 2002 to mid 2005 I led a band called The Echoes of Tyme. Our concept – most all of my bands have what’s known as “high concept” – was to play Nuggets-style garage/psychedelic rock. The more obscure, the better. One song we did was a cover of The Electric Prunes‘ “Are You Lovin’ Me More (But Enjoying It Less),” the 1966 b-side to their second (and last) charting hit, “Get Me to the World On Time.” The song is incredibly catchy, and features a wonderful arrangement, but in the end that arrangement probably hurt its commercial prospects: it was perhaps a bit too, er, subtle for mass consumption. Certainly its shifting dynamics and changes in volume would have confused AM radio listeners of the day.
But I’m convinced the song did have influence of great import. Take a moment and listen to the opening, with its chugging/stuttering guitars line, punctuating drums hits and bleep-bleep organ parts.
Now tell me you don’t hear more than a passing similarity to Pink Floyd‘s single “Astronomy Dominé.”
It’s perhaps worth noting that – according to our friends at Wikipedia – the 45rpm with “Are You Lovin’ Me More” on its b-side was released in 1966 and reached #42 on the UK charts. “Astronomy Dominé,” however, was recorded in April 1967, and released in August of that year.
In a brief exchange of emails with Electric Prunes’ James Lowe a number of years ago, I pointed out the similarity. He hadn’t noticed it before but heard it clearly when he gave it another listen. None of this is intended to take anything away from Syd Barrett or Pink Floyd; Barrett – a big fan of the psychedelic sounds coming out of the USA at the time – was already on record admitting that the the descending riff of “Interstellar Overdrive” was based on Love‘s version of Burt Bacharach‘s “My Little Red Book.” So like the saying goes, everything is connected. Or: there’s nothing new under the sun. Or: good writers borrow, great writers steal. Take your pick.
Watch for a full review of Real Gone Music’s The Complete Reprise Singles – a 24-track CD collecting all of The Electric Prunes’ a- and b-sides in glorious back-to-mono – soon on this blog.
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, will be published in 2021 by HoZac Books.