R.I.P 1964 01 30 - 2009 07 21
At an early age, Marcel Jacob discovered that he possessed the talent for playing bass, guitars and writing songs.
Marcel started his musical career playing together with Yngwie Malmsteen and for a short period of time in a band called FORCE; (which would later
become EUROPE). With Force, Marcel co-wrote the songs "The King Will Return" and "Scream Of Anger" with JOEY TEMPEST, the later
which would remain a live favourite amongst Europe fans and that the band continue to perform live even today.
But back together with Yngwie again Marcel recorded the album "MARCHING OUT" and remained for 2 world tours from 1984-86 together with Ynwie Malmsteen.
Difficulties with management forced him to quit and head back to Sweden.
In autumn of 86, guitarist John Norum departed from the band Europe and was looking for members to complete his solo band.
Marcel joined and started writing songs for Norum's first release "TOTAL CONTROL". After a successful album release and substantial tour
Marcel started to write and record demos which he thought would end up on John’s second solo album, as Marcel had written most of the songs for John Norum’s first album.
But John Norum surprisingly rejected the songs. He was to follow up on an idea to work with Glenn Hughes and the singer on John's solo efforts Göran Edman, who Marcel used as the singer on his demos, was offered the opportunity to join Yngwie Malmsteen's band and did.
Marcel found him self with a bunch of good songs but with no band and or singer.
Marcel started to think about an own project or band and found a record label interested in his songs, this is the time where Marcel Jacob first got to know Christer Wedin who worked for Grammofon AB Electra in Sweden at the time.
Knowing about the situation they together started to talk about different singers that could work for these songs and one of the singers that always had been in Marcel’s mind was Jeff Scott Soto. Both JSS and MJ had played with Yngwie Malmsteen on his "Marching Out" album in 1985, together they also did a substantial tour supporting that album. Marcel called him up and got over the material to Jeff. After listening to the songs JSS agreed to join the band.
At that time the band had no name, the working title for the band was Guitars on Fire, but later Marcel changed it into TALISMAN.
In February 1989 recordings for the first album took place in Stockholm.
Unfortunately, Electra, the label Talisman was signed to, went into some problems just when the mixing was finished and the album was put on hold and the release was delayed.
Meanwhile, JSS's US-based project Eyes got signed and MJ left for Los Angeles to help out with demos and record what would be their first release, while waiting to see what will happen with the Talisman album.
After some politics and struggle Hans Desmond (Warner Chappell) and Christer Wedin together found a new label interested and Marcel’s "Talisman" album and it hit the streets in February 1990.
Talismans popularity took everyone with surprise and the first single "I'll Be Waiting" reached number 2 in Sweden's singles chart and 33,000 copies of the album were sold instantly in Sweden.
With chart and radio success the band then needed to meet their fans and Marcel and Jeff contacted Jason Bieler on guitar (Saigon Kick), Jakob "Jake Samuel" Samuelsson on drums (Today with The Poodles) and Thomas Vikström((Today with Tiamat) on keyboards and backing vocals to get the band out on the road.
In the summer 1990 Talisman were one of the top drawing acts in Sweden.
Because of the success in Sweden it was natural that a major record company, in this case Warner signed the band but before even start the recordings for the second album a change in personnel at Warner resulted in Talisman leaving that label.
Leaving Marcel writing songs and spending most of his coming years looking for a new label. JSS went back to the US fulfilling his commitments with Eyes.
Christer Wedin, who had helped Talisman before became the Swedish General Manager for Dutch/Canadian label Dino Music (later Empire Records). Christer was naturally interested in releasing a second Talisman album when he now got the chance to make it happen, especially if Soto was available and as Eyes were now no longer together, JSS agreed to re-join the band.
In the interim, Jake Samuel also had left so MJ programmed all the drums for this record.
The new album "Genesis" was recorded in three weeks in December 1992 at Stocksund Recording Studios. JSS joined the recordings and Marcel had found a 19 year old guitar player Fredrik Åkesson(today with Opeth) to do the guitar parts.
When "Genesis" was released in 1993, the single "Mysterious" got some airplay, and the album gained again huge success in Sweden.
At this time the Japanese audience had found out about Talisman and several record companies was now interested in releasing the Talisman albums and one label won the bidding when also confirming a tour in Japan.
While the band was planning a tour in Japan a new drummer was recruited and Jamie Borger from the recently broken-up Treat joined the band and Talisman became a 'group' for the first time and were now ready to tour Japan.
The live album "Five Out of Five – Live in Japan" was recorded and released in the spring of 1994. Back from Japan and in the end of the European tour in October, Fredrik, Jamie and Marcel spent the following two months in a rehearsal studio, just outside Stockholm, writing, playing, improvising, make arrangements, learning new stuff and collecting tons of new material for what should become the new studio album “Humanimal”.
In January 1994 Jeff joined the guys in Sweden and recorded and mixed the new album "Humanimal" at Sound Trade Studios in Stockholm, working together with studio and mixing engineer Ronny Lahti (Europe, Electric Boys). The guys, being so pleased with the recordings (22 tracks recorded and mixed), wanted to make it a double album at first, but in the end decided not to.
The Humanimal album was releases in the summer of 1994 and later the same year the Humanimal pt 2 was released with the outtakes from the first one.
The "Humanimal" albums were greeted with great enthusiasm thanks to a successful combination of metal, funky and pop influences. It still is the favourite album of several fans around the world.
In 1995 Marcel and Jeff worked together in LA to write the songs for the next album “Life”.
The original mixing took place in the same studio where "Genesis" was recorded, once again with the help of Mats Lindfors whom they‘ve been working together with on the first two albums.
The japaneese record label wanted the album to a sertain date but something didn’t sound right so General Manager Christer Wedin decided that the album should be complete remixed for the European release. Christer and Mats remixed the entire album in Cosmos studios in Stockholm for the European version.
When later released it got raving reviews compared to the sounding for the first release.
After this recording sessions and no tour coming up Talisman only performed a couple of shows when they had been asked to play and to open up for old friend Yngwie Malmsteen in Stockholm.
For those shows the band enlisted Pontus Norgren on guitar (today in Hammerfall) because Fredrik Åkesson had already left the band during this long break to pursue a more metal oriented direction.
After these shows the guys took a 3 yearlong break from Talisman.
When Marcel put the band hiatus the Empire label released the compilation album “Best Of..” in 1996 consisting unreleased tracks and material from the previous releases.
In 1998 the guys were requested again from Empire Records to do a new Talisman album. MJ travelled to LA to write songs with JSS.
Jamie and Pontus joined the guys a few days later to rehearse and record, and the new album "Truth" saw the light.
The guys had a lot of help with the recording and the mixing from John Ellis (Prism Sound Studios, Boston).
The album included a range of covers: “Darling Nikki” of Prince, “Let me entertain you” of Queen and “Frozen” of Madonna but again the band could not do any touring due to other commitments.
Again a long break for Talisman and three years later Talisman was asked to perform at the Sweden Rock Festival and together with Christer Wedin MJ and JSS started the plans to record a live album.
Talisman performed in a tent, fully packed with a crowd shouting for Talisman. The show went great and the live album was only released in Sweden through Empire Records in 2002, charting at number 18 the first week!
Just after the release of this album Marcel, Jeff and Christer who explained to the guys that when now relieved from the contracts they were basically free to go into business without him, as Christer now had focus to pursuit his career elsewhere, in the movie industry at WB.
Interesting coincidence. Christer Wedin had at the same time when decision been made that their ways should part been contacted by an Italian recording studio willing to let Talisman use the studio for free. This contact was reopened by MJ and JSS and the guys spent two weeks’ time at the Music Planet Recording Studio in Acqui Terme, near Turin, and the Italian label Frontiers opened their arms for another Talisman album to be named "Cats and Dogs".
In between this new recording in 2002 Marcel re-released his first seven albums on a label called Rock Treasures, including bonus material.
The album "Cats and Dogs" was released in May 2003 and this time Marcel and Jamie had pushed, persuaded Fredrik Åkesson to come back in the saddle again. After having finished in the studio, MJ and JSS flew to Boston where they worked with engineer and friend John Ellis for the second time. They were supposed to be mixing, but had to do some editing first instead so John had to do the final mixes without Marcel and Jeff.
In 2005 Talisman launched a double DVD package "World’s Best Kept Secret". The set included two shows from the "Cats & Dogs" tour in 2003 (Sweden Rock Festival and parts from the Club Mondo Show in Stockholm 2004), archive backstage and live footage, promotional videos, an instructional video from Marcel Jacob etc.
A double live album "Five Men Live", including the gigs at Sweden Rock Festival and at Club Mondo, was also released at the same time.
For about 9 months starting from the end of 2005, Jeff, Marcel, Jamie and Fredrik worked on a new Talisman album later to be named "7". The working title was "BAR" which stood for "Bitter-Angry-Resentful", basically a joke referring to the guys’ outlook on certain life events. But the guys opted for the more straightforward title "7" as it’s actually the band’s 7th studio album.
The release was due on October 2006. This album became Talismans last studio album.
In the summer of 2009, July 21st Marcel Jacob sadly ended his life due to personal health problems.
After passing Christer who has been a close friend with Marcel and his family was contacted to keep the Talisman and Marcel Jacob legacy and spirit alive.
Talisman albums have been re-released starting in 2012 on the Sun Hill Production label in new Deluxe Editions, digipak versions containing previously unreleased material reworked artwork with new linear notes and pics.
The label also released new CD’s and videos.
In 2015 a double CD called Vaults containing 28 tracks of demos and previously unreleased material was released.
The sound and video recordings for a show recorded in 2003 in Stockholm was found and re-edited and released as the Live In Stockholm CD/DVD double package in 2015.
The first recording Talisman – S/T and the Genesis albums were released on vinyl in 2015 as very limited editions.
Marcel Jacob (1964 01 30 – 2009 07 21) was truly great musician and extraordinary talented bass player and songwriter.
Talisman Complete Discography (CD and Vinyl):
1990 –Talisman – “S/T” CD/vinyl
1993 –Talisman – “Genesis”
1994 –Talisman – “Five Out Of Five – Live In Japan”
1994 –Talisman – “Humanimal”
1994 –Talisman – “Humanimal pt 2”
1995 –Talisman – “Life”
1996 –Talisman – “Best Of.”
1998 –Talisman – “Truth”
2002 –Talisman – “Live At Sweden Rock Festival”
2003 –Talisman – “S/T” Re-issued as a Double CD incl.bonus)
2003 –Talisman – “Genesis” Re-issued as a Double CD incl.bonus)
2003 –Talisman – “Cats & Dogs)
2004 –Talisman – “Humanimal pt 1 and pt 2” Re-issued as a Double CD)
2004 –Talisman – “Life” and “Live At Sweden Rock” Re-issued as a Double CD
2004 –Talisman – “Life” and “Five out of Five – Live in Japan” Re-issued as a Double CD
2004 –Talisman – “Truth” and “Live At Sweden Rocks” Re-issued as a Double CD
2005 –Talisman – “Five Men Live”
2005 –Talisman – “Worlds Bes Kept Secret” DVD
2005 –Talisman – “7”
2012 –Talisman – “S/T” (Deluxe Edition)
2012 –Talisman – “Genesis” (Deluxe Edition)
2012 –Talisman – “Five out of Five - Live In Japan” (Deluxe Edition)
2012 –Talisman – “Humanimal” (Deluxe Edition)
2013 –Talisman – “Life” (Deluxe Edition)
2013 –Talisman – “Truth” (Deluxe Edition)
2013 –Talisman – “Live At Sweden Rock 2001-2003” (Deluxe Edition)
2015 –Talisman – “Vaults” (Deluxe Edition)
2015 –Talisman – “Live In Stockholm” (Deluxe Edition)
2015 –Talisman – “S/T” (Deluxe Edition) - Vinyl
2015 –Talisman – “Genesis” (Deluxe Edition) - Vinyl