Archives by month/year

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts


My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade/Living With GhostsTen years ago, the already legendary My Chemical Romance released their third studio album. Now, The Black Parade represents so much to their fans; at the time of its release, the album transformed their fanbase into what is called the MCRmy, later to be called the Killjoys, an army that would wage war upon those who would attempt to stop them from being different, from being themselves They also found opponents in those UK tabloids who would accuse MCR of being an “emo suicide cult” that caused their fans to take their own lives — when in reality the band sent out an anti-suicide message, through music that didn’t ignore depression and addiction, that encouraged keeping on living.

Eight years ago, darkly dressed teenage MCR fans took to the streets of London, singing songs such as “Welcome To The Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words”, both about carrying on and not being afraid, bearing banners proclaiming “This band saved our lives, and it will save yours too” while chanting “MCR, MCR” in protest at the negative press (and they were joined briefly by a group wearing V For Vendetta Anonymous masks).

Killjoys were devastated at the band’s announcement of their break up on 22 March 2013, and still hope for a reunion, especially those who never got the opportunity to see on stage the band that still continues to save their lives. So when in July 2016 a video appeared online consisting only of a flag with a never-before seen symbol on it, the intro of “Welcome To The Black Parade” playing in the background and the date 9/23/2016, Killjoys were whipped into an online frenzy, many believing that the band was reuniting for a ten-year anniversary tour of The Black Parade. A few days after the video’s release, the band members revealed that no such tour was planned, but that there was to be a re-release of The Black Parade featuring unheard demos and songs, and how touched they all were that the fans had never stopped believing in them. Many were disappointed, but also thrilled for the release of new material, even if a decade old.

“The Five Of Us Are Dying” was the first-released of the unheard tracks, exposing the roots that the band’s most beloved song “Welcome To The Black Parade” grew from. Some parts remained the same, especially musically, but it does not have the haunting piano introduction or the chants of “We’ll carry on” that bring tears to many a Killjoy’s eye. “Kill All Your Friends” sounds like a perfect unison of MCR’s second album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade, representing the transition from one album to the other.

The early version of “Mama” is somehow even more haunting than the final song, Gerard Way‘s screams and growls timed with creepy lyrics such as “And if you could write me a letter/I’d maybe even sing you a song/ ’cause there’s shit that I’ve done/with this fuck of a gun/your eyes bleed…” and of course the famous “Mama, we all go to hell, I’m writing this letter and wishing you well”. Fans have speculated that this song is a follow up of “The Ghost Of You” on Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, in which Gerard’s brother and MCR bassist Mikey Way is killed at war in the music video, and this song is a traumatised Gerard’s letter back home to his mother, telling her that they’re not coming home and that they’re all going to hell.

Okay, what happened between the two versions of “House Of Wolves”? I guess we’ll never know. The song is amazing both ways, but it almost seems that only the name stayed the same. Wow. The second version and the final version have little difference between them though, merely a few lyrical changes. The version of “Disenchanted” remains similar to the final LP track, although slightly less tear-jerking. Even as it appears on The Black Parade, it’s possibly the most under-appreciated song of the album — and it almost didn’t make the final cut, but Mikey insisted and it did.

“All The Angels” is the haunting conclusion to this haunting album. Featuring simple melody and cryptic lyrics, it seems to tell the story of a girl rushing to her dying loved one’s deathbed, which certainly fits with the story of the cancer patient which the 2006 release told the story of. “And all the angels say: You are all to blame” are probably the most eerie and memorable lyrics from this album. With the rawness of this recording, it’s easy to imagine being in the famously haunted Paramour Mansion in Los Angeles with My Chemical Romance as they recorded this song.

Living With Ghosts reveals many of the thought processes and transitions between My Chemical Romance’s second and third record, revealing hidden gems and confirming rumours. It also solidifies The Black Parade‘s position as MCR’s most incredible record out of the four LPs to date. Some would say it’s the most overplayed album, but listening to it explains why. Never will I, or many other Killjoys, be tired of hearing the first notes of “Welcome To The Back Parade”, Gerard’s deranged screams in “Mama”, the nostalgic notes introducing “Disenchanted” or chanting along to “Teenagers”; and now we know what else went into the creation of the album that saves lives.

-Frankie Harmonia-

> Print this page

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>