Time for a contrary opinion: "On and On" and "Fantasy" may well have been the first records to come out of the Chicago club scene after the disco era had ended in the rest of America. That these tracks were influential in house music's formative years also isn't in dispute—"On and On", at least, is cited by some of Saunders's peers as being an inspiration for them to try their hand at producing fully original tracks (now house classics), in part because they felt they could do much better...and they were right.
But as for these records actually being the first house recordings, which Saunders himself is especially fond of saying...well, it's hard to hear very many similarities between this (or "Fantasy") and the slightly later productions by other artists which are clearly identifiable as house music. There are definitely a couple elements of early house there, and Saunders certainly deserves props for reworking the Mach edit into something more futuristic and creative. But musically, even when taking into account how varied the house sound was in the mid-'80s, the songs are both just a bit too steeped in New Wave-ish synth-pop and disco (and Italo Disco, in the case of "Fantasy") for me to hear them and think of them as being very closely connected to all the house classics that were created over the next three years.
So I feel "On and On" and "Fantasy" are more just important parts of the many-faceted beginnings of the house scene, rather than being the mythical one true "first house records/recordings" from which all other house music flowed.
Although many have claimed the flattering title of releasing the first ever house record, the general consensus amongst the majority is that the "On And On" (although a track heavily influenced by First Choice, Frankie Knuckles' DJ-ing style and Mach) vinyl release by Jesse Saunders and Vince Lawrence is where it all began in 1983, when they published it on Jesse's Jes Say imprint. Legend has it that Saunders and Lawrence contacted Larry Sherman, a local enterpreneur who at the time had bought the only vinyl printing plant in Chicago, and literary asked him if he'd be willing to print 500 copies. He agreed, and they told him they'd be back in twenty minutes, and that they'd pay him 5$ per copy. Not only were they back, but they asked if another 1000 copies were possible. Hence the first 500 being pressed with a white label and black text, while the second batch was viceversa.
Fascinated by the demand the crowd in Chicago had for this new sound, Sherman started Trax records, and made the label's debut with Jesse Saunders' Wanna Dance, recorded under the Le Noiz moniker.
The rest is history: Trax became the leading force behind the Chicago house sound in the mid eighties, playing the main role in developing and consolidating the local scene, but also exporting the sound and the vibe throughout the USA and Europe, while Jesse Saunders gained legendary status, along house giants like Frankie Knuckles, Larry Heard and Farley "Jackmaster" Funk as one of the pivotal figures in the genre.
Jesse Saunders has been too often uncredited. So, he got influenced by a certain Frankie Knuckles who used to loop beats so that he could better mix whatever he was playing at his club. So, he participated in the production of the Fantasy 12" above weeks before he released "On And On". But if I'm Mr Jo Blow from Canada, what is the first ever typical "House" record that I could have bought and own? "On And On". So IT IS the originating house music track. Period. It is telling also that the first ever release of TRAX Records, which claim to be the first house music label ever (I wonder what that makes of Jes Say Records) was by Le Noiz, a nickname for Jesse Saunders. I'm pretty sure Saunders know what part of what he did was influenced by Knuckles DJ-ing techniques, and what part was purely his own music, but this one should defenitely go down in history.
Although On & On is the first House track pressed on vinyl, this was the result as Fantasy by Z-Factor on Mitchbal was supposed to be the first House record. Numerous delays with the release of Fantasy in early 1984 prompted Jesse Saunders to release On & On under his own label Jes-Say which was out just weeks before Fantasy was finally pressed later that same year. Both releases were mastered and pressed by Precision Records also known as Trax Records.
Here probably it is, THE first recorded house release in today's sense ever! Everyone seems to know the first detroit techno track, but house? It is told anytime and everywhere that House Music has many founding fathers, but I'm sure, this record it is...