In 1970, young Swiss guitarist Corry Knobel joined the Locarno-based band the Nightbirds. He was so young, in fact, that the band's drummer and founder, Eliano Galbiati, had to get permission from Knobel's father in order for the teenage musician to join them on-stage. The Nightbirds' music was imbued with strains of American rock and R&B, and it earned them a measure of success in Italy, where EMI released five singles from the group. By the following year, Knobel had begun to experiment with his own compositions, and, inspired primarily by the mind-expanding psychedelic music that had exploded internationally a few years before, and the sociopolitical issues of the day, he developed an ambitious concept album. Because he had no studio experience and, as Knobel later admitted, "no production skills, not much self-criticism and, of course, no money," he enlisted as a collaborator his bandmate Galbiati, who proved such an enterprising fundraiser that the pair of artists were able to book studio time in the autumn of 1971, supported as well by pianists Cesco Anselmo and Oscar Bozzetti. At those sessions, they recorded the first, crude version of Waterfall. Unhappy with the results, Knobel and Galbiati nevertheless shopped the tapes, as demos, around to various record labels in the hopes of getting them professionally produced. A Milan label finally showed interest in re-recording the project, but pulled out at the last second, leaving the duo with a $7,000.00 bank loan to cover the cost of polishing the recordings and pressing up copies. To compound problems, they were caught by customs officials trying to smuggle the first 500 copies of the LP back into Switzerland. As a result, Waterfall became one of the rarest and most sought-after European progressive rock collectibles of the era after its release in 1972. Because of its unspecified authorship, for the next 30 years, the album would repeatedly show up in rare collector books under the band name Waterfall. In 2003, Swiss specialty label Black Rills Records finally resurrected the album's complete story with its definitive CD reissue. Knobel would go on to become one of Switzerland's finest recording engineers and a leading member of the Swiss musical artists organization SUISA.