First Choice

Female soul and disco vocal trio First Choice formed in Philadelphia in 1971. They are best-known for their 1977 song “Let No Man Put Asunder”, which has been sampled by a wide range of house, techno, and hip-hop artists including Moby, Hot Chip, Ice Cube, Todd Terry, and over 200 others. Many of First Choice’s tracks have been sampled including “Dr. Love” (1977), “Love Thang” (1979), “Love and Happiness” (1973), and “Double Cross” (1979). The group’s original members Rochelle Fleming, Annette Guest, and Wardell Piper came together in high school as The Debonettes. They changed their name to First Choice and released their debut album, Armed and Extremely Dangerous, in 1973 on the Philly Groove label. Shortly before the album’s release, Piper quit the group and was replaced by Joyce Jones. The title track was a hit single reaching Number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number 11 on the R&B singles chart. The album also featured the chart hits “Smarty Pants” and “Newsy Neighbors”. The trio’s second album, The Player, was issued in 1974 and included the title track, which was their biggest chart hit to date, hitting the Number 7 spot on the R&B Singles chart. Jones left the trio and was replaced by Ursula Herring. The trio released their third album, So Let Us Entertain You, in 1976 through Philly Groove’s distribution arrangement with Warner Bros. The single “Gotta Get Away (From You Baby)” reached Number 64 on the singles chart. First Choice signed with disco-oriented label Gold Mine/Salsoul and released Delusions in 1977. The album featured the chart hit “Dr. Love” and the fan favorite “Let No Man Put Asunder”, both of which have been sampled by many house, techno, and hip-hop artists. Herring left the trio and was replaced by Debbie Martin. Their 1979 album Hold Your Horses featured the hits “Double Cross” and “Hold Your Horses”. Their final album, Breakaway, was released in 1980, shortly before the trio split up. 1977’s “Let No Man Put Asunder”, which was not previously released as a single, was issued by Salsoul Records and became a chart hit. There have been numerous First Choice compilations on the market including The Best of First Choice, The Anthology, and Greatest Hits.

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