It's sort of a weird day for birthdays today, as celebrations will be had for former *NYSNC member Lance Bass (he's 31) and Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt (who turns 38). But it's also the 40th birthday for Gregg Alexander, the pop genius behind the New Radicals. His one-man band remains one of the stranger chapters in rock history. His debut album Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too slipped onto the scene in the fall of 1998 and made an immediate impact with the smash single "You Get What You Give." The track was notable for its effervescent melody, sunshiney vibe and a coda that called out Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love, Hanson and Beck. Alexander also became instantly recognizable because of his bald head (which made him look a little like Lex Luthor) and his penchant for wearing bucket hats (which he does on the cover of Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too).
"You Get What You Give" was a massive hit, not only shooting up the Billboard Modern Rock chart but also topping out at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. It showed up in a number of movies and advertisements and continues to score countless sports packages. Though Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too only got as high as number 46 on the Billboard album chart, it still managed to sell over a million copies and won the praise of a number of critics and musicians. It seemed like Alexander was ready to conquer the world.
But Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too remains the only New Radicals album. Having grown tired of touring and supporting the album, Alexander broke up the group in July of 1999. Their second single "Someday We'll Know" sputtered behind the lack of promotion, and New Radicals faded into the pantheon of classic one-hit wonders. Alexander ended up working as a writer and producer for hire, scoring his biggest success with Santana and Michelle Branch on their Grammy-winning collaboration "The Game of Love." New Radicals may technically be a one-hit wonder, but Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too is a largely perfect pop album that shows off Alexander's remarkable talent.