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First Choice

 

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The first ladies of Philly made plenty of contributions to disco history with their work for Philly Groove and Salsoul. Working with Norman Harris, their 1973 singles "Armed and Extremely Dangerous" and "Smarty Pants" were among the earliest disco hits and the group was named the Best R&B Female Group by Cash Box and Best Female R&B Singles Group by Record World. The Armed and Extremely Dangerous album also featured a great cover of "Love and Happiness."

"The Player" was another huge hit in 1974.  With material like this, the trio was cementing a reputation for exposing the grittier side of the disco life. Their label switched distribution and they found themselves on Warner Brothers for one album, after which they signed with Salsoul subsidiary Gold Mind.

The massive club success of "Dr Love" and "Let No Man Put Asunder" from the 1977 album Delusions took their profile to another level. The following year's "Love Thang" forever sealed their status as disco legends. After recording Breakaway in 1980, the group broke up. Today, lead singer Rochelle Fleming continues as a solo artist and their legacy is preserved via the continuous sampling of "Asunder" and re-edits of their singles.

First Choice's Deepest Grooves

Armed and Extremely Dangerous (Philly Groove, 1973)
One of the earliest disco albums, this set their image as streetwise divas with "Smarty Pants."

The Player (Philly Groove, 1974)
We all know the title cut by now, but deep heads get it for "Guilty."

So Let Us Entertain You (Warner Brothers, 1976)
A transitory record, it doesn't contain any classic material. 

Delusions (Gold Mind, 1977)

Hold Your Horses (Gold Mind, 1978)

Breakaway (Gold Mind, 1980)

Greatest Hits (Salsoul, 1994)
Two discs of their classics and album cuts, by far their most representative package. Among the revelations hidden among the disco smashes are lesser known gems like "Gamble on Love," "Happy Love Affair," and Do Me Again" which show the extent of their range of material.

The Ultimate Club Collection (Right Stuff, 2001)
A bunch of today's top remixers get their hands on First Choice classics and reinterpret them for the modern dancefloor.   

Copyright 2001 Anthony Lamar Rucker. All rights reserved.

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