The Orgone Box is essentially a one-man group built around the prodigious collective talents of Sheffield, England's Rick Corcoran. Corcoran had previously been a guitarist in a number of groups, including Sugarbush and the Green Tambourines. He also made demo recordings at home, on which he played every instrument himself. In 1994, Corcoran was performing at the Midem Music Conference in Cannes, France, where he attracted the attention of a band manager. The manager, after listening to a tape of Corcoran's demos, offered to help him get a record deal if he put together a group, so Corcoran assembled the first group of players he came upon for Orange. This group was ultimately signed to Chrysalis Records. They spent a few days recording in Abbey Road studios, producing their only single ("Judy Over the Rainbow," a minor U.K. hit), which led to them subsequently recording a full-length album with producer Gus Dudgeon. The bandmembers never quite felt like they had gelled, however, and soon dissolved, leaving Chrysalis no choice but to drop the band and shelve their recordings. Corcoran, meanwhile, continued to work on his eight-track home studio recordings. One of his songs, the Lennon-esque "Find the One," was brought to the attention of a small Japanese label who, in 1996, commissioned a full-length album from Corcoran's "group."
Corcoran was by now using the moniker the Orgone Box, a name he'd discovered by reading about an energy-harnessing device invented by psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. These recordings were further enhanced during four days of overdub sessions, in a mansion Corcoran dubbed the "House in the Woods," but attracted little attention upon their release in Japan. The Japanese label subsequently folded, and once again, Corcoran quietly returned home, where he continued to work on his demos. Five years later, Bill Forsyth of the Minus Zero record store in London (who had long been a fan of Orange's single) wondered aloud what had ever happened to the promising Orange, and through a common friend, he was eventually connected with Corcoran, who had gone musically MIA. In March 2001, the Minus Zero Records imprint (who had previously released recordings by the L.A. band Skooshny) issued the self-titled Orgone Box CD in the U.K., with Forsyth declaring it "the very best pop album to come out of England in the last 20 years." Things That Happened Then, released by Minus Zero in 2002, collects recordings made by Corcoran prior to those appearing on the Orgone Box album.