Double Exposure

Philadelphians Leonard Davis, Joe Harris, Chuck Whittington, and Jimmy Williams were Double Exposure, one of the more prominent groups on the mighty disco label Salsoul. The quartet was one of the most soul-steeped on the roster. This had more than a little to do with their background as a soul group called United Image, which got together in 1966 and recorded a single for Stax in the early '70s ("African Bump" b/w "Hit Man"); and, being from Philadelphia, the group couldn't help but soak up the sounds laid out by the likes of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Stylistics, the Spinners, and the Intruders. Despite the thick soul leanings of Double Exposure's sound, they failed to light up the U.S. charts. However, they did fare much better in clubs and enjoyed more success in England. 1976's Ten Percent featured a pair of major club hits with the title track and "My Love Is Free." Both songs were remixed by Walter Gibbons, who maximized the dancefloor appeal; his ten-minute mix of "Ten Percent" was initially issued to DJs and caught fire so fast that it was eventually released to the public. Contrary to common belief, it wasn't the first 12" remix single, but it was one of the most popular of the format's early days. The album also included a rather controversial song called "Everyman," which called for people to take care of their own needs (in the song, a down-and-out person asks for change and gets a scolding instead). With the addition of a couple ballads and a cover of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Baby I Need Your Loving," Ten Percent is one of Salsoul's best single-artist LPs. 1978's Four Play and 1979's Locker Room followed, and both were also released on Salsoul. Neither built on nor continued the strengths evident in the debut, but Locker Room's "I Got the Hots for Ya" became another club favorite. By the end of 1980, the group was no more; in 1999, Charly issued The Best of Double Exposure, which ties up Double Exposure's brightest moments. ~ Andy Kellman

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