MARSEILLE: Marseille LP 1979. NWOBHM. Check samples
Their second album release, the eponymous Marseille, received radio airplay, extending their fanbase in the UK. Several tracks off this album featured in the “Alternative Top 20 Charts” published in Sounds (magazine) with other emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Saxon, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden. Marseille were the first NWOBHM band to tour and have an album released in the USA on RCA Records. The band promoted their “Marseille” album on tour in the USA with Scottish rock band Nazareth and American south coast boogie band, Blackfoot during the summer of 1980. Unfortunately the band arrived back in the UK to witness the demise of “Mountain”, their record and management company. With all their equipment still stranded in the USA the band were forced off the road and into a two year legal battle with liquidators which precluded them pursuing another recording contract. During this time Paul Dale, Andy Charters and Neil Buchanan left the band. Andy moved to the USA and Neil began a successful career in TV. The two remaining members, Keith Knowles and Steve Dinwoodie later recruited vocalist Sav Pearse and guitarist Marc Railton from local Liverpool band “Savage Lucy” to complete a third album entitled “Touch The Night” on the “Ultra Noise” label in 1984
Label: Mountain Records TOPS 125
Format: Vinyl, LP
Genre: Hard Rock
A1 Rock You Tonight
A2 Armed And Ready
A3 Over And Over
A4 Lady Of The Night
B1 Walking Thro’ The Night
B2 Bring On The Dancing Girls
B3 You’re A Woman
B4 Don’t Wanna Hurt You
B5 Some Like It Hot ( LP audio): http://picosong.com/wk4Uw
Diamond Head’s Brian Tatler
Diamond Head guitarist’s thoughts on “Marseille – Armed And Ready (1979):
“You know, for a long time I thought they were a French band! Well, that’s what the name suggested anyway. But I always thought NWOBHM wasn’t just about British bands of the time, but had a more global appeal. There were NWOBHM-style bands all over the world. And Marseille proved it had infiltrated into France. Well, I now know they were British, but this is still a fine song. It’s from their second, self-titled album, and is a beautifully constructed rock song, with a lovely dynamic. It also has some unexpected twists in the arrangement. This is the slowest song of my selection, but works because it is so well paced. I recall seeing this lot play live once, opening in Birmingham. The guitarist (Neil Buchanan from TV’s Art Attack ) ran to the front of the stage in the first song, but his lead was too short, and he pulled the amp off the top of his Marshall stack and is crashed to the floor, smashing! What a thing to happen at the beginning of your set!”
There are some albums whose worth grows out of all proportion due to a personal relevance, whose significance is exaggerated simply because you, as an individual, believe they deserved better. Well Marseille’s debut is one such album, whose failure is made that much more galling by the fact that, twelve months later, would see the emergence of Def Leppard, a band whose style they uncannily reflected.I bought the album of the strength of my own gut instincts. It is Hard rock at its finest played by a bunch of kids who are too busy enjoying themselves to worry about what the future might hold. It’s full of accessible tunes, infectious choruses and stinging guitar breaks. It’s a mini masterpiece of unpretentious hard rock and I absolutely love it.
Marseille sound fresh and guileless and it’s an act of criminal negligence they never made it any farther than this.
The first time I came across the band was a support to Judas Priest, and just blew Judas Priest away. This album shows them at their most powerful. The boys kick out some kick ass riff ‘n’ roll. Nonetheless, the quality of the competition that rode out from under the storied NWOBHM movement, overshadowed the likes of Marseille and many other young English hard rock/heavy metal groups. Marseille managed to hang on for one more LP (Touch The Night), before calling it a day in the early ’80’s.
This is a very good album and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Leppard and other such outfits. Overall this has to be one of the best albums in my large collection. A band too good for their time.
While these guys seem to garner comparisons to Def Leppard, I don’t agree. Yeah, Marseille are also melodic hard rockers that popped out at the onset of the NWoBHM, but this, their “proper” album, is much quirkier and muddled than anything the Leps laid down in their classic years. The best cuts here have more of an American, Starz-ish quality, “Over and Over” and “Some Like It Hot” being blow-pop rock (hard on the outside, sticky sweet in the middle) of high quality, while more down ‘n’ dirty rockers like “Rock You Tonight,” “You’re a Woman,” and the slow-groovin’ “Armed and Ready” are fine enough. Then there’s the oddballs in the epic “Lady of the Night,” soft-rock ballad “Don’t Wanna Hurt You,” and then a far-out psychedelic cover in “Kites,” actually one of the album’s cooler tracks.
MARSEILLE NWOBHM UNITED KINGDOM Marseille was a Hard Rock band from Liverpool, England, who originally called themselves AC/DC.
They changed their name to Marseille in 1976, with the arrival of the Aussie rockers on UK soil and released their debut album, Red, White and Slightly Blue on the Mountain label in 1978. Members included Paul Dale (vocals), Neil Buchanan (guitar) and Steve Dinwoodie (bass).
In the first ever UK national Battle of the Bands competition in 1977 Marseille appeared with Barnsley rockers Saxon (then called Son of a Bitch) in the northwest regional heats at the Apollo Theatre in Manchester. Marseille won the regionals, then went on to win the finals (judged by Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen and the late, great, Mick Ronson of Bowies Spiders From Mars) at Wembley in support of Wishbone Ash.
Marseille toured the UK extensively from 1978-1980 alongside UFO, Judas Priest, Ian Gillan, Nazareth and Whitesnake, and toured the States around May 1980 – around the same time that Def Leppard were also breaking through in the US.
Their second release, the eponymous Marseille received airplay on local-radio, extending their fan base. However record company issues and disinterest in the band caused Marseille to split-up after their third, and final release until their reformation, Touch The Night.