Their first album was The Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest (1984) after which Jim Sangster joined the group on bass and McCaughey switched from bass to guitar. Carroll left the group in 1988, and was replaced by Kurt Bloch from The Fastbacks.
The song "Amy Grant", a comical song about Contemporary Christian music and pop music artist Amy Grant, from the The Men Who Loved Music album, was a huge success on college radio and arguably their biggest hit.
The band are still together, although after 1995's Temptation on a Saturday they released no new material until Because We Hate You (2001), a split release with McCaughey's other band the Minus 5. McCaughey has given more attention to the Minus 5 since then, while Bloch and Sangster have formed the band Sgt. Major, and Hutchison is working more on visual art and design.
Since 1994, Scott McCaughey has been a sort of "fifth member" of R.E.M., working with the band both onstage and in the studio.
The band was mentioned in the They Might Be Giants song "Twisting"; Also in the song by The Ziggens "Big Salty Tears", which was later covered by Brad Nowell of Sublime on the album "Brad Nowell & Friends: Acoustic".
The tribute album This One's for the Fellows (2004) features twenty covers of Young Fresh Fellows songs by artists including The Presidents of the United States of America, Robyn Hitchcock, and The Makers.