Classics: Young Disciples – Get Yourself Together (Talkin’ Loud)
If ever you don’t consider ‘Get Yourself Together’ as a standout groove, then I suppose I’d rather have to quickly recycle myself!!! To me, it’s the kind of piece that will always get me to heaven, regardless its release date (back in 1991).
Just like some would say about a wine that it has a great aging, ‘Get Yourself Together’ seems like defying the test of time. The outstanding vocal performance of Carleen Anderson is one of its definitive attracting features. But what about its brilliant production along with Michael Talbot on keyboards and Herbie Kirk on Flute? Not to mention its construction, subtly incoporating snippets or samples. From Eddy Russ‘s ‘The Lope Song’ to Prince‘s ‘Sign O’ The Times’. Not to mention Stevie Wonder‘s ‘Do Yourself A Favor’, as recently explained to me by Femi himself.
Their biggest classic ever along with ‘Apparently Nothin”…
– Young Disciples saw the light in London back in 1990, from the reunion between Femi Fem, Marco Nelson and Dill Harris. Lookin’ for a vocalist, they recruited US singer Carleen Anderson after they saw her touring with Bobby Byrd & the JB All Stars. Together, they released only one album – ‘Road To Freedom’ on Talkin’ Loud. Eventually makin’ noise with ‘Get Yourself Together’ then ‘Apparently Nothin”. They disbanded soon after, with Carleen Anderson going solo on Circa Records.
Their name survived for some time though. And this via the remixing activities of Fem and Nelson, either separately or as a twosome.
– Houston, TX native Carleen Anderson had almost no chances to not become an artist. Singing solos in front of the congregation at her grand dad’s Pentecostal church by the age of 3. Playing piano by ear 4 years later. The proximity with her Aunt, Betty Faye Anderson, soprano soloist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, would be for much in her integration of Gospel. Not to mention the ones of her uncle, David Anderson Jr. and his daughters, Pamela and Jhelisa who had had a very successful family Gospel singing group that travelled the Southern US states. And, last but not least, her mom, Vicki Anderson who happened to tour with James Brown. Not to mention her stepfather, Bobby Byrd, who formed a group with the latter in the late 50’s called The Flames.
As many connections who brought her to tour as the opening act for Bobby Byrd & the JB All Stars. This being how she landed in England and met Marco Nelson and Femi Williams, who later formed the Young Disciples. From then, Anderson would collaborate with artists such as Paul Weller, Galliano and Courtney Pine to name a few.
Her relation with The Young Disciples only lasted a few months though. And this despite an obvious complicity. The band releasing only one album – ‘Road To Freedom’ – back in 1991 on Talkin’ Loud. And makin’ quite an impression with ‘Get Yourself Together’ and ‘Apparently Nothin”.
In her will, as a single mother, to provide a secure future for her son, Carleen soon after signed a solo record deal with Circa Records. Teamin’ up with producer Ian Green, she delivered her debut-album – ‘True Spirit’ – back in 1994. An album which got her a nomination as Best International Newcomer Brit Award in 1995. Spanning gems such as ‘Mama Said’ and ‘Nervous Breakdown’.
In 1994 too, she contributed to the ‘Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool’ compilation’. Eventually joining forces with Incognito and Ramsey Lewis on the one of a kind ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’.
Her second album – ‘Blessed Burden’ – marked a change in her artistic direction… Away from the sampling and drum looping production techniques that set up her previous recordings. This getting the Circa execs to release her from her contract soon after. And her to embark on a worldwide tour with the Brand New Heavies from January 1999 to September 2000.
Since then, Anderson has released 4 extra albums. With the latest – ‘Cage Street Memorial ~ The Pilgrimage ‘ – back in November 2016 on Freestyle Records.