First Choice – 1974 – The Player
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Their classic second record, and a pivotal album in defining the east coast uptempo sound of the mid 70’s. Rochelle Fleming and the gals sing in soulful harmony style, while Norman Harris and Vince Montana lay down some heavy uptempo grooves. Includes their classic “scolding” songs “The Player”, “Hustler Bill”, and “Guilty”, plus a number of other nice groovers.
Powered by Norman Harris, the First Choice became one of the greatest female disco acts of all time. Classic Philly Soul – early disco!
This is a @320 vinyl rip of my original Philly Groove records with covers.
1. The Player (7:10)
2. Guilty (4:51)
3. You Took the Words Out of My Mouth (4:44)
4. You’ve Been Doin’ Wrong For So Long (3:56)
1. Hustler Bill (5:28)
2. All I Need Is Time (4:42)
3. Guess What Mary Jones Did (4:59)
4. Guilty (Instrumental) (4:51)
Although they never had commercial success commensurate with the quality of their records, Philadelphia’s First Choice were probably the finest female vocal group of the disco era. Originally formed by Rochelle Fleming and Annette Guest the group went various names and personnel changes before settling on First Choice and the line up of Flemming, Guest, Wardell Piper and Mulaney Star. Working with Philly mainstays Norman Harris and Alan Felder the group recorded their debut single, the frantic “This Is The House Where Love Died” on Scepter/Wand in 1972.
Star left the group after that and the remaining trio recorded “Armed and Extremely Dangerous” for Philly Groove. It was their biggest pop hit, thanks to one of the definitive proto disco beats. Despite the record’s success, Piper left the group and replaced by Joyce Jones on “Smarty Pants” , which went to #9 in the UK.
Flemming was at her best and the rhythm from drummer Earl Young and Bassist Ronnie Baker was soon to become the definition of disco.
In 1974 “The Player” was classic Philly Sound, with the hissing hi-hat and deep, watery Feder Rhodes as well as great vocals from Flemming, while “Guilty” a cover of The Pearl records – suffered by not having Flemming on lead.
First Choice signed with Warner Bros in 1976, but their stay only lasted foe the album “So Let us entertain you”. With Jones replaced by Ursula Herring the group signed to Salsoul’s Gold Mind and record some of disco greatest records. ” Doctor Love” was a pumping dancefloor classic, while “Double Crossed”may have been preety uninspiring for the most part – by – numbers Salsoul/late Philly disco – but the string intro was one of disco’s most sublime moments. Most sublime of all, was “Let No Man Put Asunder” recorded in 1977, the 1982 remix turned it not only into one of the greatest disco records, but one of the building blocks of house music. It was 1979 “Love Thang”, that finally established Rochelle Flemming as one of the greatest disco divas. The group split up after the release of “Breakaway” but Fleming continued to record club anthems into 90’s.