There were many amazing musical performances on Joe Biden’s inauguration day, including Lady Gaga’s stunning rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the swearing-in ceremony, Bruce Springsteen playing “Land of Hope and Dreams” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the Celebrating America concert, and Katy Perry wrapping up the unforgettable day by singing “Firework” as actual fireworks lit up the Washington, D.C., sky.
The most unexpected one took place during the virtual Parade Across America when Gregg Alexander resurrected the New Radicals after a 22-year break to play their 1999 classic “You Get What You Give,” which is a Biden family favorite. “It’s such an unexpected honor particularly after the tragic year of 2020,” Alexander told Rolling Stone, “and the hope there’s a little positivity in our song it can bring to the start of 2021 and the Biden/Harris administration.”
The New Radicals are one of the purest examples of a one-hit wonder in rock history. “You Get What You Give” was the first single from their one-and-only album, 1998’s Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too. It blew up all around the world, but they broke up shortly before follow-up single “Someday We’ll Know” was released.
During the group’s extremely brief run, they hit the American club circuit and supported “You Get What You Give” at many promotional events. Here they are playing the song at MTV’s Rock n’ Jock Bowling Ball event in 1999. Everything about the clip, down to the VHS quality of the footage and the sight of a young Carson Daly, will send your brain 22 years back in time.
“I do get a chuckle when I see us sometimes referred to as a ‘one-hit wonder’ as some people may not realize that New Radicals ended by choice before our second single was released,” Alexander told Rolling Stone. “But I view it as a cute pop term of endearment. I‘m sure that if I had simply sung my song ‘Game of Love’ with Santana when asked by the label, or my Euro hits I wrote for others, things would have been different. But, again, maybe then my life wouldn’t be my own.”