New Radicals Will Reunite After 22 Years For Biden Inauguration
Even before he takes the Oath of Office in a couple of days, Joe Biden will publicly threaten to kick Marilyn Manson’s ass. Biden’s mostly-virtual inauguration festivities will feature a whole lot of big-name musical performers, including Lady Gaga, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, and Jennifer Lopez. But Biden’s inauguration will also feature a reunion of New Radicals, the short-lived alt-pop group whose sole hit, 1998’s “You Get What You Give,” has had a surprisingly long life.
New Radicals will perform “You Get What You Give” as the final act in Biden’s virtual inauguration parade, which will happen just after Biden takes the Oath on Wednesday. Rolling Stone reports that New Radicals co-founders Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois got the invitation to play less than a week before the inauguration, and they had to be surprised. New Radicals broke up in 1998, shortly after the release of their sole album Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too. On Wednesday, the band will perform on a Philadelphia soundstage, and it’ll be their first time playing together since their breakup.
“You Get What You Give” isn’t just a critical favorite. It’s also a song with personal significance for Biden and his family. As Rolling Stone points out, Biden wrote in his 2017 memoir that his late son Beau Biden used “You Get What You Give” as his “theme song” for his fight against cancer: “During breakfast, Beau would often make me listen to what I thought was his theme song, ‘You Get What You Give’ by the New Radicals. Even though Beau never stopped fighting and his will to live was stronger than most — I think he knew that this day might come. The words to the song are: This whole damn world can fall apart. You’ll be OK, follow your heart.” At Biden’s presidential rallies, Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff used “You Get What You Give” as entrance music.
After New Radicals broke up, Gregg Alexander stayed out of the spotlight, moving to England and working as a songwriter. Alexander reemerged in 2014 after writing some songs for the indie film Begin Again; he gave interviews and performed live for the first time in more than a decade. In 2018, Alexander said that he’s recorded somewhere between seven and 10 albums since Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too but that he has no plans to release them.
In a release, Alexander says, “If there’s one thing on Earth that would possibly make us get the band together, if only for a day, it is the hope that our song could be even the tiniest beacon of light in such a dark time. America knows in its heart that things will get bright again with a new administration and a real plan for vaccines on the way. That’s the message of the song… this world is gonna pull through.”