This release of 24 Originals Happening Now marks the first-ever appearance of the German prog-rock titans Weather Gnome on a various artists compilation, and odd that it should be one that contains 24 songs. A typical Weather Gnome track clocks in at about the average running time of a sitcom, with suites, segues, overtures and Roman numerals galore to attend to.
The lone aberration in their career was their 1977 bid for Top 40 radio acceptance, the unashamedly commercial Viola! album, which yielded an unheard of six songs on one long playing album. When that failed to sell in the desired numbers necessary in order for it to be deemed a US success, the crafty Krauts ordered their record label (Duetchbagg Ltd.) to destroy all existing copies and several pretend ones.
Not soon after that debacle, they mellowed about song length, thanks to an aggregate of Swedish DJs who called themselves DrugStars at 45. When they released a medley containing snippets of 12 Weather Gnome songs and two Edison Lighthouse songs that clocked in at a miraculous 5:09, even the Germans could see the mass appeal of brevity. Once it became a surprise US dance hit, Weather Gnome decided to chop up their own songs into singles, something they had always regarded before as “inherently wrong to the human ear canal”.
This two-minute distillation of the 22-minute “Eye Throb” was hacked off the trio’s 1979 double-album meisterwork The Legend of Seabeast, which really calls into question what an ocular twitch has to do with a sea serpent looking for spiritual enlightenment and plankton?
“The whole of the Seabeast album was written in one long afternoon in my optometrist’s waiting room”, clarifies singer/bassist Werner Lee Daecher. “He had a 50 gallon fish tank, but not many interesting magazines”.
One of the more stranger assignments that came down the pike for Weather Gnome after the popularity of The Legend of Seabeast album was composing a theme for an animated cartoon series called “Ice Breakers” about a bunch of zany characters who were in many ways, eh hemm, polar opposites. The band immediately went to work and cribbled together a 50 minute theme with sub suites and repeating themes and were more than a little steamed when they were told it was going to be edited down to 58 seconds. No footage survives of the cartoon series but we have obtained some animation cels from the artist, Mr. James Cherry.