Throwback: First Choice-Love Thang
Rochelle Fleming, Joyce Jones and Annette Guest were The Debronettes from Philadelphia until local DJ Georgie Woods introduced them to Norman Harris who was a guitarist for MFSB. They changed their name to First Choice and Harris produced their first song “This Is The House Where Love Died.” Immediate success did not come from the ’60’s girl group sounding single but it did garner them a contract with the Philly Groove record label. It would be the next song “Armed And Extremely Dangerous” and album of the same name in 1973 that gave them an identity with a soulful disco sound that was characteristic of the ’70’s and chart recognition. “Smarty Pants” would be the next single from the Armed debut to sell and secure their place as one of the finer R&B lineups of the time. Consequent years would bear some of the most essential dance tracks including “The Player,” “Dr. Love,” “Let No Man Put Asunder,” “Love Thang” and “Double Cross” all spliced into numerous club tracks. Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Shep Pettibone, Tee Scott, Tony Humphries and Steve “Silk” Hurley have remixed and sampled their music into ecstatic grooves that has made First Choice immortal to the dance music audience.Mary J.Blige raised their profile in 1999 when she covered “Let No Man Put Asunder” and gave it proper exposure during an early morning performance at New York City’s The Shelter nightclub. The group would record seven albums disbanding in 1984 and lead singer Rochelle Fleming made another version of the group in 1987. They recorded the album Love Itch for the Prelude label later that year. Fleming still works infrequently as a guest vocalist on house tracks and is still in demand on the club scene performing most recently for a Haiti benefit this year at Webster Hall.