This is another group who briefly had some huge success in the 90s. New Radicals was essentially a solo project for the American singer/songwriter Gregg Alexander, who was also rather fond of wearing a hat. Although he had been around since the early-90s, it was when his single “You Get What You Give” was released in April 1999 that he found some success, and this song seemed to take on a life of its own.
Around this time, when I went through the dial, this song really did seem to be on a radio station somewhere every five minutes, and became much-praised for its lyrics. Despite the seemingly endless airplay, the video also being regularly shown on music channels and featuring in films, “You Get What You Give” reached no. 5, never really challenging for the Number One position. In America this reached only no. 36. Also in April 1999, the album “Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too” was released and reached no. 10.
How can you possibly follow up a song that had been so successful though? Well as the album didn’t do too badly, maybe it was worth releasing another single, it can’t be that bad an idea really. So in September 1999 the next single “Someday We’ll Know” was released. I did hear this on the radio (although to nowhere near the extent of its predecessor), it was rather downbeat and thoughtful, and I do remember the lyric “someday we’ll know why the sky is blue“. Er, I thought we did know that.
This one was never really going to have any chance of being as fondly thought of as “You Get What You Give” though, and reached only no. 48. Having seemingly realised that his success will probably not be repeated again, and having only just avoided being a one-hit wonder, it was around this time that Alexander announced that he was bringing his New Radicals project to an end.
This definitely wasn’t the last that we would hear of Alexander though, and he definitely still had the music in him, as he went on to be a songwriter for other singers including Ronan Keating, and he had some more Top Ten hits this way. And I imagine that all these years on, there must still be a radio station somewhere in this country currently playing his big hit, I hope that he would be pleased about that. The whereabouts of his hat are currently unknown though.