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Raw Material

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Raw Material Time Is... album cover
3.57 | 68 ratings | 7 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ice Queen (6:42)
2. Empty Houses (7:32)
3. Insolent Lady (8:53) :
- a) Bye the Way
- b) Small Thief
- c) Insolent Lady
4. Miracle Worker (4:47)
5. Religion (4:27)
6. Sun God (11:14) :
- a) Awakening
- b) Realization
- c) Worship

Total Time 43:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Green / electric & acoustic guitars
- Colin Catt / keyboards, vocals
- Michael Fletcher / saxophone, flute, vocals
- Phil Gunn / bass, acoustic guitar
- Paul Young / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Keef

LP Neon ‎- NE 8 (1971, UK)
LP Akarma ‎- AK 153 (2011, UItaly)

CD SPM Records ‎- SPM CD 028 01 (1991, Germany)
CD Repertoire Records ‎- REP 5241 (2011, Germany) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RAW MATERIAL Time Is... ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RAW MATERIAL Time Is... reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!

Raw Material's second album is definitely a more consistant and even album than their debut. The main improvement would be the addition of lead guitarist Cliff Harewood. Raw Material is one of those groups that could typify best the term Proto-prog as their early and short career produced two adventuresome albums both much worth investigating.

If the debut was very uneven (having one track meandering into beatnick poetry) , this album's strong point is that there are no weak tracks. However of the six tracks present (a little error in the above informations) , none are really highlights or stand out that much as to create a masterpiece either. The three side A tracks are all fine , interesting prog involving good flute and sax work. Only the vocals are rather perfectible and some guitar work is a bit repetitive. Miracle Worker and Religion are a bit in the same mold but are shorter as to make room for the more imposing Sun God tracks with many mood changes and Floyd-esque athmospheres, but somehow the track has all of the asstes on its side but does not manage to take off to nirvana.

Raw Material's two album can be considered a bit as lost 70s nuggets/gems but are not really THE hidden treasure you were waiting for. Certainly worth discovering and a few spins but nothing worth writing a telegram home about either.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It was while trying to find some info on FLAMENGO's classic record that I read in a person's review that they reminded him of RAW MATERIAL. I had never heard of that band as far as I could remember so I investigated and found out they released two studio albums (1970 / 1971) and then disappeared. The Gnosis site that rates albums fairly hard had this second record rated much higher than the first but also at an avareage rating of 11 out of 16 making this one a must have according to the experts. I wasn't blown away by it that's for sure but it is a solid 4 stars in my world. I'm very pleased to own it and the sax really reminds me of Ian McDonald's work on KING CRIMSON's debut.

"Ice Queen" opens with the wind blowing then the music kicks in and takes over. This reminds me of early KING CRIMSON then the vocals follow. Love when it settles 1 1/2 minutes in and the wind returns. Contrasts continue. A jazzy interlude before 3 minutes with piano. The wind is back 4 minutes in then it kicks in again. Flute arrives after 5 minutes. "Empty Houses" opens with guitar and drums as the sax joins in. Passionate vocals a minute in. The sax replaces the vocals. Great sound after 4 1/2 minutes, quite powerful. The vocals are back after 6 minutes along with the organ. This is great right to the end. "Insolent Lady" features acoustic guitar and reserved vocals early on. Flute and bass help out too. Mellow stuff. The piano replaces the vocals then it kicks in with sax 2 1/2 minutes in. Vocals follow. A silent calm before 4 1/2 minutes then strummed guitar takes over followed by piano then organ as it builds. Drums and sax follow then vocals after 7 minutes.

"Miracle Worker" is just a pleasure to listen to instrumentally. The sax, keyboards and guitar especially. "Religion" is an uptempo vocal track with blasting sax and a catchy rhythm. "Sun God" is the over 11 minute closer. It's fairly laid back to start then reserved vocals come in before 1 1/2 minutes. A change before 4 minutes as it picks up and turns fuller. It settles again after 5 minutes. I like it ! Intricate guitar and a dreamy sound here then back to the opening soundscape after 7 1/2 minutes as themes are repeated.

Well worth checking out if your into KING CRIMSON or VDGG.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars British band Raw Material recorded two albums over the course of as many years between 1970-71, and the second album from the band, `Time Is...' is a strong collection of mostly Proto-prog styled pieces with light psych, jazz and folk elements. Due to the inclusion of saxophone/flute player Mike Fletcher, fans of the sax dominated early King Crimson albums and Van der Graaf Generator will find much to appeal here, with bands such as Beggars Opera, Pink Floyd and Novalis also other possible little reference points. It's not an album that instantly impresses, instead one that gradually reveals the consistently strong instrumental and compositional skills of the band on repeated plays.

On lead track `Ice Queen', the band were evidently quite influenced by Van der Graaf Generator, but although the sax lines throughout almost exactly recreate the VdGG classic `Killer', accusations of this band being an outright clone of them are completely false! A powerful and dramatic opener with howling winds, a dominating vocal from keyboard player Colin Catt, drifting flute and snarling lead guitar, with a nimble spiraling piano and thrashing drums driven jazz breakdown in the middle. Announcing intimidating sax opens `Empty House', a deranged Roger Water-esque vocal from Colin snarling `You and me can have some fun, empty houses one by one...'! Plodding heavy Uriah Heep-style guitars, treated droning sax over commanding acoustic guitars before heavy electric grooves twist the piece.

The first extended piece `Insolent Lady' incorporates soft dreamy Pink Floyd-like acoustic guitar passages, a warmer vocal, glistening electric piano, heavier sax, shimmering cymbal crashes, rising organs and gentle washes of synths that almost bring a rising and falling orchestral quality. `Miracle Worker' reminds instantly of Beggars Opera, a more upbeat melodic tune driven by addictive Hammond organ, Cliff Harewood's rapid fire mangled Byrds-like guitar licks and a catchy distorted electric piano solo in the middle over smashing drums.

There's a very slight psychedelic period Beatles sound on `Religion', mostly one chord played over and over behind dirty honking sax blasts, the imposing drumming building in urgency throughout to become quite hypnotic. The three part extended closer `Sun God' offers plentiful changing moods. The first section `Awakening' delivers an unhurried acoustic guitar and flute passage not unlike the drowsier Novalis moments, quickly shattered by the raucous `Realization' with wild vocals and clattering percussion, thick Hammond organ stabs and lusty guitar grooves before calming down into mellow jamming, the murmuring bass a highlight. After a brief reprise of the first section, `Worship' closes the album on a reflective ocean of fading-in placid synths before a final stirring sax fanfare.

There's no absolute classics to be found here, nor should the album ever be confused with being a lost classic, but `Time Is...' is still a strong and solid collection of early prog- influenced tunes, and it's a shame the band didn't get a chance to offer more works from here. It's definitely one to consider adding to the collection if you come across an LP or a CD reissue at a decent price, and it remains a very enjoyable album that deserves a bit more attention.

Three and a half stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars RAW MATERIAL were a two-album British Jazz-Rock band who got together in swinging London in 1969. They released their first eponymously-titled album in 1970 and followed it up with the "Time Is..." album in 1971. Raw Material's two albums are now pretty rare material as they've become real colle ... (read more)

Report this review (#2304817) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Monday, January 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars VDGG clone with less talent. A nice album that, despite some defects (first of all the uncertainties of the vocals) is a good addition to a record collection of progressive rock. The opening track is Ice Queen. The sound of a wind storm introduces the song. The style of the band reminds ... (read more)

Report this review (#469574) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Saturday, June 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Test Tube Baby + Time Served Glazier = Hour Glass Figure (Two and a Half Stars Really) Even a casual glance at the music blogs that proliferate on the web nowadays is more than sufficient cause for we nay-sayers to intuit the discovery of a very badly hidden Zirconium Mine of 'lost gems' lyi ... (read more)

Report this review (#216190) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Raw Material is often compared to Van Der Graaf Generator. This is not a bad comparison, since both bands made doomy progressive music with an important role for the saxophone. Differences are the more prominent guitar parts in the music in Raw Material and the songwriting of Raw material was ... (read more)

Report this review (#75318) | Posted by Agemo | Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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