MARSEILLE – Rock You Tonight ; The Anthology (first 3 albums on 2-CD)

MARSEILLE - Rock You Tonight ; The Anthology (first 3 albums o 2-CD) full

It was requested here the discography of English underground rockers MARSEILLE. They released 3 LP’s between 1978 / 1984, however none have been officially released on CD. However Castle Music / Sanctuary did the trick some years ago with this ”Rock You Tonight ; The Anthology”, a 2xCD release comprising the entire (and most ‘famous’) MARSEILLE 1984 album ‘Touch The Night’, and almost the complete ‘Red, White & Slightly Blue’ (1978) and self-titled ‘Marseille’ (1979), with a couple of songs replaced by hard-to-find standalone 7” singles.
While Marseille were the first band to win the “UK Battle of the Bands” competition at Wembley Arena in 1977, and were the first NWOBHM act to secure a major recording contract, to tour in the United States, as well as the first band from the genre to release an album there, they never achieved mainstream success.
Their first two albums will please fans of late Seventies classic British hard rock / proto metal, while on the third the band incorporates synths and a more melodic-hard approach to their music as happened with most bands of this ilk in the mid-Eighties.

Hailing from Liverpool, the band started operations in the mid-Seventies and they took the name because ‘Marseille’ was a French rough seaport like Liverpool. They toured the circuit until they entered the first ever “UK Battle of the Bands” with the finals judged by Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen at Wembley Arena on October 31, 1977.
They won and the prize was a five-year recording contract with Mountain Records in late 1977, where the band released their debut album ‘Red, White and Slightly Blue’ in 1978, which included the songs “The French Way” and “Can Can”. Marseille became the first New Wave Of British Heavy Metal to play at a big festival in Europe: the Bilzen Festival in Belgium, supporting Cheap Trick.

Recorded almost ‘live into the studio’, Marseille debut album contained very raunchy lyrics but suffered somewhat from lack of promotion and limitation of release. However Marseille gathered a small fan base while promoting their first album as support for other groups such as Judas Priest, Nazareth, Whitesnake and UFO.

Their music had all of the standard ingredients for a New Wave of British Heavy Metal band. They were known for the volume at which they played, a brash and glitzy onstage look, and offensively sexual lyrics. These characteristics turned some listeners off, while exciting others.

Their second album, the eponymous ”Marseille’ released next year (1979) received more radio airplay, extending their fanbase in the UK. Several tracks from the album featured on the “Alternative Top 20 Charts” published in Sounds magazine with other emerging NWOBHM bands such as Saxon, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden.
Marseille were the first NWOBHM band to tour and have an album released in the United States through RCA Records. The band promoted their ”Marseille” album on tour in the US with Nazareth and Blackfoot during the summer of 1980.

But good luck wasn’t by their side. 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 US, the band were forced off the road and into a two-year legal battle with liquidators, which precluded them pursuing another recording contract. This led to the band disintegration.

Two remaining members, drummer Keith Knowles and bassist 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.

A song from the album, “Walking on a Highwire” became Marseille’s first and only single to enter the UK Singles chart, peaking at number 98 and spending one week in the listing. It’s a very ‘melodic rock’ tune similar to Virginia Wolf.
However, lack of industry interest in the band caused this iteration of Marseille to split up soon after.
”Touch the Night” was labeled by Kerrang! magazine as a closet classic that should have taken the band to higher ground, a cult album for British AOR / Melodic Rock aficionados.

This two-disc CD aptly titled ”Rock You Tonight” became the Marseille Anthology and was released by Castle Communications, a subsidiary division of Sanctuary Records Group. The album, containing material from all three of Marseille’s previous albums, garnered some critical acclaim being hailed “The best box set of 2003” by George Smith of Village Voice magazine.
A very nice slice of 70s/80s British classic rock.
Highly Recommended


Disc One
01 – The French Way
02 – No Time To Lose
03 – Dear Doctor
04 – Can Can
05 – Motherly Love
06 – I Felt No Pain
07 – Not Tonight Josephine
08 – Men’s Lib
09 – Percival
10 – Kiss Like Rock ‘n’ Roll
11 – Cold Steel
12 – Over And Over
13 – Rock You Tonight
14 – Lady Of The Night

Disc Two
01 – Walking Thro’ The Night
02 – Armed And Ready
03 – Bring On The Dancin’ Girls
04 – Some Like It Hot
05 – Kites
06 – Crazy
07 – Walking On A High Wire
08 – Touch The Night
09 – Reach For The Night
10 – After The Fall
11 – Too Late
12 – Gate Crashin’
13 – Live Now Pay Later
14 – Open Fire

Paul Dale – vocals
Sav Pearce – vocals
Neil Buchanan – guitars
Andy Charters – guitars
Mark Railton – guitars
Toby Martin – guitars
Steve Dinwoodie – bass
Keith Knowles – drums


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