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Group 1850

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Biography

Group Eighteen Fifty is an interesting, if sometimes exasperating, late-'60s Dutch band who ranks among the most accomplished and original Continental rock acts of the era, though they made little impression in English-speaking territories. Starting as a more or less conventional beat band in the mid-'60s, they had taken a turn for the more psychedelic and bizarre by 1967. Determined to drive into the heart of the psychedelic beast, their songs (performed in English) are quite eclectic for the era, shifting from doom-laden tempos with growling vocals to sunny, utopian passages with breezy harmonies. The group could be roughly labeled as a mixture of the early Mothers of Invention (whom they supported at a Dutch concert in 1967) and Pink Floyd without much of a sense of humor; their songs are intriguing and not without powerful hooks, and the lyrics ambitious (if often inscrutable), but one's attention tends to wander over the course of an album, or even during their lengthier songs. Their late-'60s LPs are highly esteemed by some serious psych/progressive collectors. ~ Richie Unterberger

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