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Manning The View From My Window album cover
3.97 | 56 ratings | 8 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Phase (The Open & The Widening Sky) (7:23)
2. The View From My Window (9:07)
3. The Rut (8:04)
4. After The (Tears In The) Rain (5:18)
5. Blue Girl (6:14)
6. Suite - Dreams (20:03) :
- i) Dreamian Rhapsody
- ii) On the Carousel
- iii) In Slumbers
- iv) A Visit To The Sandman
- v) R.E.M.
- vi) From Slumbers

Total Time: 56:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Guy Manning / 6- & 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, bass, mandolin, drums, percussion, vocals, arranger & producer

- Gareth Harwood / guitar
- Andy Tillison / organ (1), drums (1,5), piano (4,6), synth (6)
- Tim Moon / whistle (2), cello (4), flute & fiddle (6)
- Laura Fowles / sax, vocals
- Rick Ashton / bass
- Hugh Whittaker / drums (4,5), percussion (3)
- Pav Chana / percussion (2,3)

Releases information

Artwork: MBL Graphics with Manning and Dan Lyons

CD Cyclops - CYCL 136 (2003, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MANNING The View From My Window ratings distribution

(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MANNING The View From My Window reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Manning's 2003 contribution opens in absolutely breathless fashion, with the conviction and punch of "Phase". Manning and the band are firing on all cylinders here, and working with material that befits their efforts. The melody will stay in your head long after the fadeout. While some of his early material had tended to the quiet and reflective, perhaps too much so, this opener is a polar opposite. Where do we go from here?

The title cut is definitely more in his traditional style, but yet more lush and imposing. Another insistent tune, bolstered by strong percussion and synths. "The Rut" is the least interesting tune here, in an unwaveringly dirge-like bluesy vein. In contrast "Blue Girl" begins with a lite jazz feel that works far better, enhanced by sax and electric piano. Some striking lead guitar punctuates the piece.

As usual, the album's keynote is a lengthy suite, this one called "Dreams", and, while it has some interesting parts, it lacks a centerpiece, a presence that would make it the intended highlight of the disk. Nothing in it is as half as compelling as most of what precedes it on this album. So while this is another good effort from Manning, it is frustrating that he seems so capable of a masterpiece but won't deliver. One has to wonder if the window of opportunity is closing.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars A long time ago I had this album in my hands but I can´t really remember if I did hear it at all (probably not, see below). Fortunatly I kept it until recently, when I found Manning´s masterpieces Songs From The Bilson House and Ten. So I decided to review some of his earlier stuff and View From My window was an easy pick. And I was really surprised how good it was! Ok, like all Guy Manning´s works, it will take some time to fully appreciate all the details of his work, but once you do, you´re hooked.

The album starts with the powerful Phase (the Opening & The Widening Sky). What a great track! It grabs you by the neck by the sheer force of its melody. Everything works on this song: delightful hooks, tasteful arrangement, inspired solos (including one amazing sax and guitar duel at the end) and a very convincing vocal delivering. If this tune was released in the 70´s it would sure be a strong cadidate for a top ten classic of that era. The following tracks are not that accessible, but are good anyway, proving that sameness is not one of Manning´s features. Again they all show him using all his and his band mates talents in full for the music. The arrangements are just perfectly crafted for each song. The bluesy The Rut may drag a little, but the hipnotic riffing works very well saving the day. After the Rain reminds of very early Jethro Tull, while Blue Girl is one of the most interesting ballads, featuring some great jazz and soul overtones.

Of course the centerpiece of the CD is the 20 minute Suite: Dreams. Divided in 8 small parts, this is his most progressive work in the entire disc. And a very inspired and strong one, I should say. The melody lines are just amazing and all the musicians show their skill throughtout the entire epic. In fact it seems like something that could have been on Ten or SFTBH: Everyhting works here flawlessly, with some fantastic symphonic keyboards, orchestrations and Manning´s emotional vocals reaching a new level on the top of it. Another sure case of a song that is worth the price of the CD! I jusut keep pushing the repeat button of my CD plyer over and over when I hear it.

Conclusion: an excellent work by one of the most talented (and unfortunatly still not very well known) prog artists of our time. Definitly one CD to look for, specially if you like strong and varied songwriting, terrific players and arrangements that near perfection. Not much noodling here, just a case of everything working for the songs. Rating: 4 stars. Highly recommended.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars So Guy is back with his fifth album, and yet again I am amazed at just how powerful his songs can be. If ever there was a modern songwriter and performer who was trying to pick up on the electric side of Richard Thompson then it has to be him, and opening song "Phase (The Open & The Widening Sky)" reinforces that idea. It is powerful and commercial, yet has a strong guitar line throughout just behind the vocals, or sometimes replacing them. But this album appears to be deeper, with more influences, more darkness, than before. Play the introduction to the title cut and you could be forgiven for wondering what on earth you were listening to, as many musical styles come together in a bazaar. But the guitar cuts through everything like a shining ray of light, before giving way to acoustic strumming and the feeling that Guy has turned his attention to one of our great eccentrics, Roy Harper. The keyboards are much more delicate at this point, with the focus very much on the vocals.

The major opus of the album is called simply "Suite:Dreams", and is over twenty minutes long, which allows Guy to run through many emotions and styles. Possibly the most powerful is when he is just accompanied by piano and some seeping keyboards in the background. It may be simple, but is effective. This gives way to some lounge style noodlings before again being moved into something more dramatic and moving, almost as if the listener is bursting into the sunlight.

In some ways Guy is the least progressive act on Malcolm's label, yet in others he is the most as he crosses boundaries and performs music that wouldn't normally have that tag. Again this is a wonderful piece of work that I recommend whole heartedly.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

Latest members reviews

4 stars Guy Manning finally came of age. After some very good albums in the years before this album, Guy Manning finally reached a standard he should be happy with. This is the same standard as Bilston House and Number 10. I do not know the albums between this album and Bilston so please forgive me ... (read more)

Report this review (#239582) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 Stars Really. This is the only album I have heard by Manning and it is pretty good. The vocals strongly remind me of the Strawbs and some of the songs would fit right in on a Strawbs album. When I first picked up this album Mr. Manning was in the Prog Folk category on this sit ... (read more)

Report this review (#188054) | Posted by digdug | Wednesday, November 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is full of great medolies and big arrangemtns! and also seems in fact more symphonic than alot of the previous Manning albums Again, as before, this is different in tone and arrangement, feel and atmostphere to its predessors. This recurring 'change direction again' format works fo ... (read more)

Report this review (#162366) | Posted by Topograph | Friday, February 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is full-blooded progressive rock and there's something for everyone on this album. You'll find more than a hint of Genesis-bred song-oriented neo-prog, but there are also huge passages of complex, multi-textured and multi-layered symphonic prog. Spin this CD and on the very first track yo ... (read more)

Report this review (#18430) | Posted by DinoL | Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a fantastic album that is definately worth investigating. Strong songwriting throughout & excellent performances from both Guy & his band shine across all the songs. The hypnotic title track lingers in your head long after the CD has stopped spinning. This man gets better & better with every ... (read more)

Report this review (#18428) | Posted by Simon Jackson | Wednesday, December 17, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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