Gregg Alexander wants to hug you!
New Radicals were an American pop-rock band from The Nineties
. Their sole permanent member
was multi-instrumentalist Gregg Alexander, who wrote and produced all their songs. Their only other constant member was former All in the Family
actress Danielle Brisebois, who played percussion (and occasionally, keyboards) and sang backing vocals.
They released one album, Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too
, in 1998. A pop-rock album drawing influences from various rock and Funk
acts like Todd Rundgren
and The Rolling Stones
was greeted with critical acclaim. It also provided the band with their only hit single, "You Get What You Give". It's one of those one hit wonders that everybody knows now.
Alexander disbanded the group in mid-1999 out of fatigue with touring and the rock star life, declaring that he had "accomplished all of [his] goals". He returned to his previous job of writing and producing for other musicians. He later won a Grammy for writing Santana and Michelle Branch's "Game of Love."
After 15 years intentionally shying away from stardom, Gregg Alexander finally granted his first interview since his stint with the New Radicals in October of 2014.
- Arc Words: "Two years ago" is mentioned consistently in the songs about breakups. The number 97 pops up every now and then due to the band being formed in that year.
- Black Comedy/Lyrical Dissonance: "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away The Ending," a bright, spirited power ballad about doing porno films for coke and overdosing.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: A particular gem from the same song:
"By the way this girl was sexy and she would touch you
That may not be true, but I said it so you'd feel involved with the song!"
- Cut Song: "A Love Like That." Some lyrics appear on the band's only album, but the song was only released online years later.
- The two B Sides "To Think I Thought" and "The Decency League", though "To Think I Thought" is on the Japanese version of the album.
- There are a whole load of these actually. Alexander was recording demos from 1995 to 1998, when the album was made. Some of them have leaked online, some of which were given to other artists, and some of which weren't.
- Drugs Are Bad: "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away The Ending"
- I Am the Band
- Nice Hat: Alexander. He admitted that he always wore one to partially hide his complete lack of enthusiasm during live performances.
- The Nineties
- Not Christian Rock: They come close in "Jehovah Made This Whole Joint For You" and "Flowers" ("As real as our god, who has spoken, on how we can fly"), which both seem like attempts to convert a drug addicted girl to christianity. It's safe to say Gregg was not serious about it - he was brought up a Jehovah's witness and hated it.
- One-Man Band: Gregg played all the parts on "Technicolor Lover" by himself.
- One Work Author: Only released one album, Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too
- Whilst this is technically true of the New Radicals, the only constant members were Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois, and they wrote and recorded three other albums together, Gregg Alexander's Intoxifornication and Danielle Brisebois' two solo albums Arrive All Over You and Portable Life. Also, Gregg had an an album called Michigan Rain before Intoxifornication. The New Radicals were definitely the most focused of all Gregg and Danielle's projects though.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Gregg had his moments (such as the 'won't you save me' part of I Don't Wanna Die Anymore, and the verses of Crying Like A Church On Monday.
- Scannable Man: Several pictures on the album art have a barcode on Alexander.
- Take That: Alexander included two verses towards the end of "You Get What You Give", one criticising the FDA, health insurance providers and others, and the other just bashing various celebrities. By his own admission, it was an experiment to see whether the media would focus on the political issues of the first lines or just the celebrity-bashing. Predictably enough, the media focused on the bashing and ignored the rest.
- "The Decency League" is one against Moral Guardians.
- The lyrics in the liner notes for the title track "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" are completely different than the actual song on the album. The booklet lyrics, which are all a giant Take That at society, end with "So hip, so young, so full of shit. The studio told us to shut up and write another hit." The song itself never had those lyrics, it is gibberish - this was a parody of censorship.
Social Security Number, please. Credit card number, please. Money, please. Money, please. Money, please. Soul, please. Please deposit 85 dollars for the next three minutes, please.