June 2023 – Scott Coates
New Radicals: Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too
Here we are on our second of four picks with our One Hit Wonders series, looking at artists and albums that were One Hit Wonders – loosely meaning that the album had one or so big singles, then we likely never really heard from the band again.
I’ve always liked the song You Get What You Give by New Radicals, bought the album when it came out, but don’t remember listening to it beyond the single, and have been listening to that single a lot recently. Then the Foo Fighters announced Josh Freese as their new drummer in May 2023, and while reading about him, I noticed he drummed on two songs from Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too by New Radicals, and decided to make this my pick for the month.
The album was released October 16, 1998, and is essentially an album by lead singer, Gregg Alexander, who is the only person to play on all the album’s tracks. He enlisted a swath of session musicians (28) to play instruments while recording, really making this an album of hired guns. The very successful You Get What You Give charted high on most Top 40 lists around the world, then the band broke up in 1999. A second single, Someday We’ll Know, was released shortly after the band called it quits and the rest is history.
Alexander released two solo albums previous to Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too, both were commercially unsuccessful, got a new record deal, and threw everything he had at this one. The album received mostly positive reviews, has been compared in style to everything from Billy Corgan to Hansen, and has been listed on many Best 1 Hit Wonder lists.
So, get in a comfortable spot, put on some kick-ass headphones or turn up a good stereo, and see if Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too is indeed just a one hit wonder, or there’s more to this album than a flash in the pan.
Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too – Wikipedia
Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too – Spotify
Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too – iTunes