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Riff Raff

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Riff Raff Original Man album cover
4.08 | 36 ratings | 5 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Original Man (7:40)
2. Havakak (6:06)
3. Goddamm the Man (6:09)
4. In the Deep (3:59)
5. The Waster (5:09)
6. Tom's Song (4:22)
7. Speed (9:16)

Total Time 42:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Kirtley / guitar, vocals
- Tommy Eyre / keyboards, string synthesizer, vocals
- Roger Sutton / bass, cello, vocals
- Aureo De Souza / drums, percussion

- Bud Beadle / alto, tenor, soprano & baritone saxophones
- Steve Gregory / tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet
- Joanna Newman / vocals (4)
- Joe O'Donnell / viola (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Dick Whitbread

LP RCA Victor ‎- LPL1 5023 (1974, UK)
LP Klimt Records ‎- MJJ385 (2016, France)

CD Disconforme SL ‎- DISC 1953 CD (1999, Andorra)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RIFF RAFF Original Man ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

RIFF RAFF Original Man reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

Second (and last) official album, from this highly gifted group who would've probably deserved much more attention from the public. Still the "classic prog quartet", this time augmented not by one but two guest wind players and an all-around finer album. In this album Kirtley is asserting his songwriting role to the equal to Sutton, while Eyre gets only one credit.

The opening title track is right away giving you the ambiance that will pervade throughout the album, with a slightly jazzy Santana-like rock, enthralling you slowly but surely to ecstasy. A real feast, Yummmmmmyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!! This small tour-de-force is followed by another full-out fusion, this time red-hot crater-flowing fusion-lava, Havakak, which apparently guitarist Kirtley wrote with a previous group. In a relatively calmer mood is the funky-jazz rocker Goddamm The Man track, yet another superb track with a great call and response between horns section and the guitar. Still softer, Kirtley's third track on this side of the album is a more jazzy-soulish fusion, which pales a bit in comparison with previous tracks, but is still of a high calibre, just a little slow at times.

Sutton's The Waster is a slightly jazzy-bluesy-soulish mid-tempo track with big horn arrangements, and De Souza's drums tazke on conga flavours: just lovely. In a very different style, Eyre's lone composition contrasts heavily, but is nothing shocking either, especially when hearing its high quality keyboard fest. The last track is another fusion masterpiece, even if you have to wonder the track has its name for the first few minutes, but if the track does pick up at times, it remains to a superb mid-tempo with Eyre's electric piano particularly haunting, the whole album throughout.

Unfortunately, the group will have to fold (or chose to) when British musician-union forced Brazilian drummer de Souza out of the country by pushing for the non-renewal of his working visa. But this collapse was also due to US deals not falling though also. But this bunch of riff-raffers did go out in a very stylish manner pulling in a very strong British fusion masterpiece, just missing by a tad the fifth star. Definitely their crowning achievement and a must discover for fusion lovers and progheads alike.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Amazing! This album really changed how I looked at Prog for a long time... easily one of my favorite Prog albums of all time, if not favorite albums. Extremely innovative sound (Seriously, really surprised me this album came out in 1974.), knows when to pick up the speed and when to slow down, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2450364) | Posted by Amaury.V1 | Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 12 years later and I have to totally agree with Sean review (see below) - a magnificent fusion album, the opus Magnum of this short-lived most talented band deserves without a doubt 4 stars and misses only marginally the fifth. What a magnificent find (thanks to PA, I must pleasantly add), so ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#1954615) | Posted by Quinino | Friday, August 3, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album has been a joy to listen to over the past few weeks. Not quite blues, not quite jazz, not the horn-driven rock of If or BST, and certainly not progressive in ELP or Canterbury terms, "Original Man" melts these genres, resulting in a cohesive whole that is as original and innovative as ... (read more)

Report this review (#747282) | Posted by Suedevanshoe | Tuesday, May 1, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the most underrated prog band ever. Riff Raff released only two albums, and "Original man" imo is the best one, altough the other was very good too. Here the band has the same fusion approach of their debut effort, but more refined and technically excellent on every track. These guys pl ... (read more)

Report this review (#113036) | Posted by armapo | Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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