It’s fun to hear “Too Much to Dream” live, even if it’s not the best cut on this album. For the band, “World of Darkness” really took them back to 1967 as it was recorded that year, but never released and forgotten until the tapes were discovered in 1990. Two of the songs really point out the presence of Tulin, as in “Rosy Made Me Crazy” and “Tidal Wave” where the bassist drives the riff. Vocally and instrumentally, “Tidal Wave” sounds like a song close to what the Prunes recorded in Feedback. Ironically, Lowe sings “Seventeen will never come again.” True enough, but this is an album that is a sonic injection of what we heard and felt in the old days.
It’s all summed up in “Lost Dreams,” where Lowe looks at old pictures and realizes memories will be his epitaph. If you hadn’t turned the stereo up by now, you will. You’ll be just in time for the encore, “Get Me to the World on Time” which, to my ears, works much better live than it did in the original echo chamber studio version.
What Return to Stockholm demonstrates is that there are musicians who were there when this breed of music was created and are playing it much better than they did when they were teenagers. The Prunes are a tighter outfit these days, more accomplished instrumentally, and know how to be an onstage time capsule that is the real thing. If you too were part of the scene in ’66, this is an evening as close as you can ask for to revive the glory days in your memories. (Assuming you can remember them.) If you weren’t, this is what it was all about. Poetic lyrics, searing guitar leads and interplay, experimental sounds. Among those sounds, for sure, is a very musical buzz, buzz, buzz.