Fans of still-unbelievably-fun ’90s songs received some tremendous news a couple of days ago when it was revealed that New Radicals would be playing together for the first time in 22 years. The occasion is today’s post-inauguration Virtual Parade Across America, and the song, of course, is “You Get What You Give.” Well, the time has come, as Gregg Alexander and company have finally performed the song again.
— Jillian Stein (@SillyJillyStein) January 20, 2021
One aspect of the song apparently didn’t survive the band’s breakup: the iconic bridge that called out a number of MTV stars of the time, including Beck, Courtney Love, and Hanson. But maybe it’s for the better.
New Radicals refusing to diss Beck, Hanson, Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson sets the right tone for America.
Biden will be your president even if you're a fake who lives in a mansion and deserves to have your ass kicked in.
— Kenneth Partridge (@kenpartridge) January 20, 2021
Even shortly after the song was originally released, the band didn’t get to play it all that much and relish in its success in front of a live audience. Its parent album, Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too, dropped in October 1998 and the song was released as a single the next month. Then, in July 1999, Alexander announced the disbandment of the group.
Joe Biden explained the significance of the single in his 2017 autobiography Promise Me, Dad, in which he wrote, “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.'”
Ahead of the performance, the band’s Gregg Alexander said, “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. […] Performing the song again after such a long time is a huge honor because we all have deep respect for Beau’s military service and such high hopes for the unity and normalcy Joe and Kamala will bring our country again in this time of crisis.”
For the first time in a long time, watch New Radicals perform “You Get What You Give” above.