By 1978, Novalis was one of Germany's most successful rock bands, both in record sales and concert attendance, with only the Scorpions outselling the band. Thus, the quintet was able to leave their day jobs behind to work full-time as musicians. Their next album, Vielleicht Du Bist Ein Clown? ("perhaps you are a clown?") was also produced by Achim Reichel and saw release on the Brain label. It again displays their penchant for elegant, romantic rock music.
Van der Graaf ended their penultimate tour with two nights in early January at London's Marquee Club. The band was now a five-piece: the same quartet that recorded the previous year's The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Zone, plus Charles Dickie on cello. Offering more of the chaos and less of the control that defined the band's prior efforts, the recordings formed the basis of this, the final installment from VdG. "Ship of Fools" sets the tone with Peter Hammill on electric guitar, and there's nothing subtle here; he's got as much grace as a steamroller.
Formed in 1977, Weidorje included the talents of keyboardist Patrick Gauthier from Heldon and bassist Bernard Paganotti from Magma. They were joined by several other luminaries from the French music scene: keyboardist Jean-Philippe Goude, guitarist Michel Ettori, drummer Kirt Rust and brothers Alain and Yvon Guillard on sax and trumpet, respectively. While Magma was recording Üdü Wüdü, Gauthier and Paganotti split off to form the band Weidorje as an outlet for their own compositions.