Marseille formed in Liverpool in early 1976, and released their debut album, Red, White and Slightly Blue on the Mountain Records label in 1978. Original members were Paul Dale (vocals), Neil Buchanan (guitar), Andy Charters (guitar), Keith Knowles (drums) and Steve Dinwoodie (bass). Marseille were the first band to win "UK Battle of the Bands" with the finals judged by Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen at Wembley Arena on October 31, 1977.
Marseille gathered a small fanbase while promoting their first album as support for other groups such as Judas Priest, Nazareth, Whitesnake and UFO. Their debut album had very raunchy lyrics but suffered somewhat from lack in promotion and limitation of release For the single, Kiss Like Rock 'n' Roll the band were produced by Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton.
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 Nazareth and Blackfoot (band), 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 to complete a third album Touch The Night on the "Ultra Noise" label in 1984. However industry disinterest in the band caused this iteration of Marseille to split-up soon after.
In 2003 a two-disc CD called "Rock You Tonight - Marseille The Anthology" was released by the Castle Communications subsidiary of Sanctuary Records Group. The album, containing material from all three of Marseille's previous albums, garnered some critical acclaim being called "the best box set of 2003" by George Smith of Village Voice magazine the USA.
The original line up reunited for a handful of gigs in 2008, however Paul Dale soon left the band and was replaced in February 2009 by Nigel Roberts. The band recorded an EP FourPlay which was released on the Gas Station Music label in 2009. In 2010 Keith Knowles and Steve Dinwoodie stepped down to be replaced by Gareth Webb (drums) and Lee Andrews (bass). The band recorded their first full album in 25 years " Unfinished Business " in early 2010. The album was unveiled at the band's appearance at the Hard Rock Hell festival in December 2010. A full UK tour supported by Exit State followed.
In April 2011 Gareth Webb stepped down and was replaced by Ace Finchum (ex Tigertailz) on drums. The band continued a heavy gig schedule throughout 2011 and are currently working on new material for an upcoming release in 2012. Festival appearances are already on the schedule for 2012 to promote this release in the UK and Europe.