Group 1850 – Agemo’s Trip to Mother Earth. 1968 Netherlands

By all rights, the Dutch music ensemble Group 1850 should hold the same mythic stature that Pink Floyd obtained. First of all, Group 1850 represent Continental Europe's first progressive rock band. Their compositions are designed for the tripped-out effect: Organ overlays, relentless throbbing bass, active percussion, spacey / phased voices and, best of all, an acidic guitar tone that uses every bit of studio trickery and tone affectation available at the time.

Clearly a parallel group to Pink Floyd, Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth is taken from the same cloth as Saucerful of Secrets. In retrospect though, Group 1850's work is more creative - which one may expect from a Continental band without any commercial restraints. Sure, there are some pure psychedelic moments to be had - but just hearing the title track (technically titled 'I Put My Hands on Your Shoulder') should put anyone in awe who can hear this from an historical perspective. There just flat out wasn't anything like this in 1968 . The fuzz guitar, the trippy voices, the acid induced phased effects, and the drumming (oh my - the drumming). It's a true masterpiece in the field of psychedelic progressive music.

Personal collection
CD: 1997 Pseudonym
LP: 1999 Pseudonym

Group 1850's debut was groundbreaking in many ways, including the original LP cover: A fantastic gatefold with a 3-D cover complete with glasses! The original Dutch pressing is the only one that was 3-D whereas the original UK press (also on Philips) had a focused picture which has a blue hue to it. Because the original cover appears fuzzy, I chose the UK LP cover (above) for this entry.

My first copy of this album was the rather shoddy SPM release which has little to offer. But 1997's Pseudonym CD is like the LP, and it also comes with a 3-D cover and features a whopping 13 bonus tracks. Group 1850's 45's were just as "out there" as their LP tracks, so these bonus songs are enlightening. Two years later, Pseudonym went forward with an exact LP replica. They did such a good job, I haven't felt it necessary to fork over for an original, even though this is a favorite album. The LP does not have any bonus tracks however.

4 comments:

  1. Hi, Tom:

    In 2013, Pseudonym slipped out a *beautiful* sounding cd (many very close headphone listens don't reveal a single click/pop) featuring all of "Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth" as well as all of "Paradise Now", plus the 1968 7" A-side "We Love Life (Like We Love You)":

    http://centertainment.nl/?productid=66&ref=%2F%3Fartistid%3D29%26ref%3D%252F%253Fartistindex

    Utterly, totally...essential!

    Eric

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eric - first of all, thanks for the comment! Is this the version you refer to? http://cdreissuewishlist.blogspot.com/2013/03/news-group-1850s-paradise-now-to-be.html

      I never did purchase it. So the "Paradise Now" sounds great to you? I may get it in the next order then.

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    2. Tom:

      Yes, this is the very one. Label hype states both "from master tapes", and, as I said, many careful headphone listens bear this out, both for "Paradise Now" and "Aegmo's Trip to Mother Earth".

      Having heard a few serious avant-garde collector friends rave about Group 1850 over the years, I didn't quite get how a "rock" group could engender such enthusiasm.

      But, oh, do I ever get it now!

      Eric

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    3. I agree Eric. In fact, I've been stumping for Paradise Now for years. I think it's for certain a Top 75 album - perhaps even Top 50 - ever!

      http://unencumberedmusicreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/group-1850-paradise-now-1969-netherlands.html

      I added the Pseudonym CD to the above based on your positive comments. Thanks Eric!

      Delete

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