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Group 1850

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Group 1850 Paradise Now album cover
4.04 | 31 ratings | 5 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A:
1. Paradise Now (5:22)
2. Friday I'm Free (2:54)
3. Hunger (4:54)
4. Circle (1:08)
5. Lonelyness (2:22)

Side B:
6. Martin en Peter (1:55)
7. ?! (7:05)
8. Purple Sky (10:53)

Total Time 36:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Sjardin / vocals, flute, organ
- Dani?l van Bergen / guitars, piano
- Ruud van Buuren / bass
- Beer Klaasse / drums
- Dave Duba / guitars

Releases information

Original vinyl: Discofoon 7063
Vinyl reissue (1978): Killroy KFA 13058 KL
CD reissue (2001): Free 9105016-2

Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the addition
and to octopus-4 for the last updates
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GROUP 1850 Paradise Now ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GROUP 1850 Paradise Now reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars GROUP 1850's debut was really "out there" sort of speak with some great ideas, I just didn't enjoy it that much. "Paradise Now" is this Dutch band's second album and is much more laid back and less experimental with a lot more percussion. And I love it.

"Paradise Now" is haunting to start out as we get some spoken words.The organ floats in and builds.The song kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes and our trip has begun. Great tune. "Friday I'm Free" sounds even better than the opening song. Bass, guitar, drums and tripped out vocals lead the way. "Hunger" opens with outbursts of sound coming and going then it settles with vocals.This is very FLOYD-like. Psychedelic guitar after 2 minutes. "Circle" is a short uptempo instrumental. "Lonelyness" has some interesting ideas on it. It's like being fried in the sixties.

"Martin En Peter" features percussion and flute for the most part. Very ethnic sounding. "?!" is an outstanding tune as it builds to this fairly catchy melody of drums, guitar and organ. Check out the psychedelic gutar later. "Purple Sky" has a Jimi Hendrix vibe to it. It opens with random drum patterns as the guitar cries out. The song settles into a heavy but slow groove. Spoken vocals before 2 minutes. The guitar starts to solo 3 minutes in until we get dual guitars that echo a minute later. It settles right down 5 1/2 minutes in then the drums start to solo. The guitar and bass are back after 8 minutes.This is great ! Some scorching guitar follows.

A classic Psychedelic album.

Review by friso
4 stars Group 1850 - Paradise Now (1969)

This band was one of the earliest space/psychedelic/progressive rock bands and certainly the first Dutch prog-band. Their very psychedelic debut from '68 is a forgotten starting point of the genre. Whilst Group 1850 must have been a provocative and mind-blowing experience at it's time of release, the band never became very famous. The vinyls of the band are very expensive these days and I felt lucky to get this early vinyl reprint (with the alternative blue cover with names).

Paradise Now is a spacey and psychedelic record with use of symphonic keyboards/organs, Gilmore & Hendrix influenced guitars, stoned amateur vocals and an underground-feel rhythm section. The result is a rare record sounding like a... well an obscure and rare record. There are mostly symphonic compositions on side one with mainly the spacey opener as a highlight, whilst the second side is more concentrated on improvisation. In between there is a little bit of song-writing and a psychedelic folk-track as opener for side two. The ending track Purple Sky has a strong blues-rock influenced style. Perhaps early Floyd can be named a main influence for the band, but that's speculation.

This is the kind of record that will make collectors feel very satisfied. It's hard to find, it has a distinctive obscure sound and it really is a very impressive record for the year 1969. When it comes to great compositions or professional playing the record fails to be very impressive, but it's atmospheric and positively naive throughout and most of the guitar-solo's of Daniël van Bergen sound great.

Conclusion. Obscure (sounding) psychedelic/space record with an emphasis on synth/organ and electric guitars. For certain the first progressive rock band to come with a record from Holland. A big three and a halve stars for this one, but mainly recommended to fans of obscure prog, early prog and spacey prog.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Take a good portion of 60s psychedelia spiced with a touch of krautrock. This can give an idea of what Group 1850's music is, but let me add that while the musicianship of psychs and krauts was not always good, this band knows how to play.

I have listened to this band for the first time a lot of years ago (maybe 30). I spent a night in a house in the country, jamming on guitar, bass and drums and listening to music of this kind. You can imagine the rest.

The title track is a fusion of Californian psych with a bolero-like tempo but with vocals more in line with krautrock. Not so "weird" like CAN or so "doped" like AMON DUUL.

"Friday I'm Free" is more British. The vocals have a lot of reverb so it's just another instrument. The tempo is fast and while the guitar sounds like Barrett, bass and drums anticipate the times to come with a rhythm that has brought to my mind bands like OZRIC TENTACLES, QUANTUM FANTAY or 35007.

"Hunger" has the pauses typical of MOODY BLUES with kraut vocals and a melody very '60 close to the psychedelic period of BEATLES but also to SYD BARRETT with a bit of blues, too. One of the most acid tracks of an acid album.

"Cycle" is a short interlude with a Canterbury flavor and the first of three very short songs. The second is "Lonelyness" that's more floydian. Both the guitar and the voice sound similar to BARRETT and also the keyboard plays a melody with the middle-eastern scales used by Wright until Ummagumma. The third, "Martin En Peter" is very reminding of Floyd's PARTY SEQUENCE from More. Percussion keyboard and flute.

"!?" starts with clean rhythmic guitar followed by a keyboard melody. The guitar plays open major chords while the melody goes on minor tones with an acid sound. The contrast creates a sort of middle-eastern mood, but fundamentally it's a psych-blues track. I think to ARZACHEL as reference. It's the kind of track good for a jamming night.

The longest track closes the album. It's an acid blues again very close to the PINK FLOYD of MORE. I think to "More Blues". Here we can clearly distinguish the two guitars, the second played by Dave Duba, the new fifth band's member. I don't know if he's also one of the two singers, but this second singer has a voice quite similar to JIMI HENDRIX and when the rhythm increases the influence of that great performer appears clearly. It's a long...well, not very long, jam session. Also because a good portion of it is just a drum solo. A good solo which demonstrates the drummer's skill before coming back to the initial blues.

I'm used to relisten to an album while I write a review and honestly this album has brought my mind to 30 years before. A short and nice trip in the space-time thanks to an album which deserves to be known by the psych music addicts and shows a skill that was not very common in that time for that genre.

The average rating is not going to change. I see that all have rated this with 4 stars and this is also my opinion.

Review by DangHeck
4 stars Coming out of the Netherlands just in time for the Brit-inspired Nederbeat of contemporaries Golden Earring, once ready to release, Group 1850 had already bounded for Space. Releasing their debut in 1968, the world already well-steeped in Psychedelia, this is how we first know them. One of those things where, seeing they had a career plenty before this musical seismic shift, I'm very curious what they sounded like in their earliest years.

Our title track, "Paradise Now", is an incredibly strong opener. A slow but powerful build of spacy organ and buzzing electric guitar, all over a solid bass-heavy beat. In my previous ignorance, I wanted to open with this, but I feel this is a well aware worldliness in their approach to Psych and Space Rock, taking from their European counterparts, but also from the Bay Area hippies on the other side of the world. Continuing on boldly, we have "Friday I'm Free", a simple, quickly-over Space Rock jam. It's a bit reminiscent, as I've seen noted elsewhere, to early Pink Floyd.

"Hunger" is an awesome psychedelic statement(!!!), with reverberating guitar and near-monotone group vocals, again not entirely unfamiliar to fans of Floyd. I'm struggling at the current moment to identify other groups that this sounds like. Glancing at Spotify's "Fans also like" can be illuminating, and here our Group 1850 is moreso like Clear Light, Twink, Mighty Baby (the very little I know of them) and Arzachel than they are Blossom Toes or Kaleidoscope (the Kaleidoscope I don't know as well haha). Up next is the minute-long jam, "Circle". Blink, and you'll very well miss it as I nearly did haha. It warms us up nicely in preparation for the next, "Loneliness", in comparison, a far more chill number, taking notes from the Ragas of the East. All the same, I feel they've produced an album of consistency up to this point. As I say this, our Eastern sonics continue in a peaceful... triumph(?) on "Martin & Peter", complete with hand-drums and sweet yet harsh fluting (of some sort).

Sharing in the slow crescendos and warm jams of their Krautrock contemporaries, as I find this comparison most appropriate here, "?!" builds softly upon itself. No excess here. Just chill vibes and more, lightly evocative East-spiration. Guitar builds on occasion only to die back down into the whole. Frankly, the weakest of the bunch to my ears, yet it did have some good ideas. Finally, we have the 11-minute long "Purple Sky". This jam is more inspired by the Blues at first, sharing in sonic choices to even Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple. This track slips deeper and deeper into the dream, away from bluesy familiarity and eventually, in its middle, into a wild tom-heavy drum solo. The focus of this solo shifts then to almost entirely cymbals. Just a genuinely interesting approach, and I can definitely appreciate it in that. Apparently back-masked vocals sound the return to our bluesy start. Cool closer, for sure.

A fantastic Euro-Psych album, for those trying to look without. I look forward to what comes next... Polyandri, their third and final album, was released just over a half a decade later. I'd call that a different musical landscape altogether haha. We shall see.

A barely rounded-up True Rate of 3.5/5.0.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Listening to this album immediately comes to my mind that Group 1850 once was the support-act of Pink Floyd, that must have been a very impressive musical experience, and inspiring! Especially in de psychedelic compositions Paradise Now (ominous atmosphere, dreamy vocals and organ, fiery guitar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2581922) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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