Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Manning The Ragged Curtain album cover
3.80 | 42 ratings | 9 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Ripple (From Ragged Curtains) (0:40)
2. The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell: Tightrope (10:40)
3. A Place To Hide (4:56)
4. Where Do All The Madmen Go? (6:32)
5. Stronger (5:33)
6. What Is It Worth? (6:06)
7. The Weaver Of Dreams (7:37)
8. Ragged Curtains (25:55) :
- a) Flow
- b) Sea
- c) Waves
- d) Stone
- e) Tides
- f) Sand
- g) Undertow
- h) Ebb

Total Time: 68:04

Bonus track on 2013 reissue
9. What Is It Worth? (Live) (6:00)

Line-up / Musicians

- Guy Manning / 6- & 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, e-bow, keyboards, peace harp, bass, mandolin, drums, percussion, chimes, vocals, producer

- Gareth Harwood / guitar
- Neil Harris / keyboards, percussion
- Andy Tillison / organ & synth (8)
- Laura Fowles / sax, vocals
- Angela Goldthorpe (Gordon) / flute, recorder
- Rick Ashton / bass
- Jonathan MacDonald Binns / drums

Releases information

Artwork: S. Youtsadakis' painting

CD Cyclops ‎- CYCL 115 (2002, UK)
CDFestival Music - 201312A (2013, UK) With a bonus Live track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy MANNING The Ragged Curtain Music

More places to buy MANNING music online

MANNING The Ragged Curtain ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MANNING The Ragged Curtain reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Guy Manning has a very interseting, lispy voice. He sounds like a cross between Ian Anderson and the singer from Canada's Tragically Hip. This album has a very "old" sound to it. Very seventies, however clear and beautiful in technique. The prog sounds are verty subtle. I got a kind of Boz SCaggs vibe out of some of the tunes, mainly "What is it Worth." Well done, and gets better with repeated listening.
Review by kenethlevine
3 stars "The Ragged Curtain" has Manning drawing from a much wider palette than in his prior efforts. From the hard rock of "Tightrope" to the ballad "A Place to Hide" to the reggae tinged "Where do all the Madmen go", the start of this album takes us on wild ride. As I have said before, his impact seems stilted when playing the hard rocker, but the other two forays are both confident and marvelously realized, down to the circus like break in "Madmen".

"Stronger" continues to stretch the horizons with an ambient jazz mood. Manning's voice at times reminds me of a huskier Al Stewart meets a more listenable Ian Anderson, including on "Weaver of Dreams", which is otherwise somewhat lacking in excitement. Then we come to this album's epic, the title suite. The melody that had been introduced in the brief opening track is expounded upon at the start, and it proves a winner. Unfortunately, most of the rest does not measure up, as we get bogged down in more faux hard rock, until the gorgeous "Sand" segment. This ethereal ballad style seems to suit Manning much better. The main theme returns for "Ebb". So, again, a somewhat uneven extended piece.

"The Ragged Curtain" is aptly titled, containing highs and lows for Manning. Another good album, but not more.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is Guy's fourth studio album released in 2002. Several guests help out including Andy Tillison on one track. Guy dedicates this recording to his dad "For his love of life, the sea & stone". His father passed away the year this was released. As usual Manning writes and composes everything. Every album of Guy's I have heard has impressed me.There's depth and class to his work that stands the test of time. And I know as I get older these albums will become more appreciated.

"A Ripple (From Ragged Curtains)" is a short intro track then things kick into gear with "Tightrope" where the electric guitar and a full sound arrives. Spoken words in this one then the tempo picks up followed by vocals. Catchy stuff. The tempo slows after 3 minutes but it continues to shift. Nice sax 4 1/2 minutes in followed by organ.This is great. Themes are repeated and the sax is back late. "A Place To Hide" is a relaxed tune and vocals arrive before a minute. Sax before 3 minutes followed by guitar. "Where Do All The Madmen Go?" opens with spoken words and music. Almost a reggae vibe here. Some raw guitar too. Organ before 2 1/2 minutes. Some good guitar late.

"Stronger" again opens with spoken words as a beat with synths comes in. Reserved vocals arrive, then later we get some sax before 4 minutes. "What Is It Worth ?" opens with horns before the vocals take over. Mellow guitar after 4 1/2 minutes and spoken words end it. "The Weaver Of Dreams" features flute and a light beat. Guitar comes in then it settles as the vocals arrive. Contrasts continue. "Ragged Curtains" is the almost 26 minute closer. It's pastoral to start with what sounds like mellotron. Then we get flute as reserved vocals continue. It kicks in after 2 minutes.It then settles back 5 1/2 minutes in with strummed guitar and flute. Organ before 7 minutes. It kicks back in at 9 1/2 minutes then settles back as the tempo continues to change. A calm before 16 minutes with vocals.

As usual an enjoyable and rewarding listen. 3.5 stars.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is the fourth album from Manning (as this is really a full-blown band now, and not just Guy Manning solo) and sees the song writing take on a more mature angle, moving away from the progressive scene into one that is far more British in outlook, almost as if Richard Thompson has been involved with Grace. There are also small passages where people are talking about relationships, which does give the album something of a 'Dark Side Of the Moon' feeling. Although the album does contain strong musicianship it is geared towards providing a strong backdrop for the emotive vocals and it is these that drive the album ever onwards. Of the musicians, special mention must be made of Laura Fowles whose sax playing has taken the songs into another area.

It is the album closer that shows Guy at his most inventive, as at 25 minutes long "Ragged Curtains" allows him to bring together styles from the early Seventies up to the present day. It starts gently with keyboards and woodwind, vocals murmuring gently over the top, and then it becomes a vehicle for sax/guitar interplay before going off again onto another tack.

All the way through is the impression that this is a 'grown up' album, and although Guy has temporarily lost some of the band they are still playing some dates in the near future. Guy will always be associated with Parallel Or Ninety Degrees and with Andy Tillison-Diskdrive guesting on this and temporarily covering live keys that association looks set to continue. An album that is much more than 'just' prog.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

Latest members reviews

3 stars A truly Eclectic Prog album. So much that I have found it hard to put down on paper what I feel about it. This is a very complex album and the most multi-layered Manning album I have heard so far. Guy Manning went deep into the world of music on this album. This album has everything from r ... (read more)

Report this review (#235036) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another great listening experience for me. Although the first opening snippet of the album is in fact a teaser for the long epic Ragged Curtains which concludes the CD, this is an album of 3 parts, made up of two large suites of songs which are bridged by a shorter central piece. The first ... (read more)

Report this review (#161009) | Posted by Topograph | Wednesday, February 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well how do I describe my album of the year? The latest album from Manning takes you through a musical journey, the trials and tribulations, the joys and sorrows of relationships, with powerful, sentimental, moving, exciting music, in the finest tradition of quintessential English Progressive ... (read more)

Report this review (#4763) | Posted by DinoL | Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another superb album. Like the previous Manning albums,this one takes time to be absorbed as it is subtle and operates on a number of levels. The poetry of the lyrics plus the delighful and beautiful ensemble arrangements are great. Once again Manning surrounds himselff with gifted musicians and g ... (read more)

Report this review (#4761) | Posted by | Monday, January 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A great, sometimes acoustic based, proggy album, warm and lush keyboards, Guys voice is in shape, accompained by flute, acoustic & sliding guitars, just a perfect rhythm section and a key-role for Laura on sax. Accessible complex music with great proggy beats, sometimes leaning to very good singer-s ... (read more)

Report this review (#4759) | Posted by | Thursday, October 30, 2003 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of MANNING "The Ragged Curtain"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.