West Coast producer/writer Rafael Gerald, already renowned for producing and writing much of Millie Jackson's first three albums, hoped to strike gold again when he launched Act One in 1972 in Los Angeles. The core group included Reginald Ross, George Barker, and Roger Terry, session men Gerald had worked with in the past. Assembling as Act One, this slick, jamming band signed to Spring Records and recorded their eponymous debut for release in 1973.
Although the album itself never took off, it did unreel several minor hit singles. February 1973 brought the Top 30 R&B smash "Friends of Lovers." Backed with "I Never Had a Love Like Yours," the song hovered just out of the pop Top 100. July then saw the band score with another, markedly less-successful (number 90) summertime single, "Takes Two of Us"/"Whole Lotta Lovemaking," before they dropped out of sight in the United States.
Although Act One may have disappeared in their homeland, 1974 brought them a brief revitalization in England when another single, "Tom the Peeper," was plucked off the album to become a monstrous Northern soul club hit and a minor national chart entry -- the single debuted at number 40 on the U.K. pop charts for the week of May 18, 1974. The song did nothing stateside, however, and Act One disbanded not long after, leaving Gerald to move on to other production projects. He would come full circle in 1999, reuniting with Jackson on her Between the Sheets LP.