My Chemical Romance one of the biggest rock sensations of the last decade built an impressive repertoire before their final break up in march 2013. But with over a decades worth of material where do you begin? Here’s a list to help get you started.
10 – ‘Vampire Money’
‘Vampire Money’ was released in 2010, but you wouldn’t know it. The song sounds like an out of control collaboration between the Sex Pistols and Jerry Lee Lewis. The 50s style single chord piano thumping and sarcastic as hell ‘voice over’ type intro is bound to make you giggle. However what takes the biscuit with this song has to be the lyrics. “Gimme, gimme some of that vampire money c’mon!” a not so subtle dig at the Twilight movie soundtrack gold rush that they managed to resist.
9 – ‘Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us’
‘Honey This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us’ was one of the early signs that this band had something special. The catchy almost spooky intro riff leads the charge in this song about substance abuse. Gerard Way composed this after coming out the other end of his struggle with drugs. The lyrics “And you can cry all you want to, I don’t care… ” still sounds icy cold.
8 – ‘Sing’
By the time My Chemical Romance were writing tracks for their final album ‘Danger Days’, they had the rock anthem factor perfected. Nowhere is this more obvious than on ‘Sing,’ a simple choice for this list. A big song with high production value that gets to the point. Not to mention stays in your head for days.
7 – ‘Teenagers’
‘Teenagers’ was the last thing you would expect from MCR. An upbeat alternative rock tune with a 12 bar blues feel doesn’t appear very often, let alone go platinum. But the catchy sing along feel is in stark contrast to some subversive and controversial lyrics. The lyrics touch on gun crime “what you’ve got under your shirt. Will make them pay for the things they’ve done” and authoritarianism “They’re gonna clean up your looks, With all the lies in the books… So they can watch all the things you do” etc. Not the norm for a top 30 hit but then, that’s My Chemical Romance!
6 – ‘The Ghost of You’
My Chemical Romance took a more laid back approach in ‘The Ghost of You,’ but that doesn’t make the song any less effective. This sad number explores the pain of the loss of a loved one. While it’s one of the more moody tracks on their ‘Three Cheers for Lovely Revenge’ record, it perfectly demonstrates the bands knack for combining mournful melodies with an angst driven delivery.
5 – ‘Na Na Na’
If you need a pick-me-up, My Chemical Romance’s ‘Na Na Na’ is the one to do it for you. This great power cut was the tune that broke the group out of writers block during their fourth album. Just one listen and it will be clear why!
4 – ‘Helena’
‘Helena’ which starts with a hushed almost Cure like feel, suddenly explodes to break neck speed in this emotional rocker inspired by the loss of Gerard Ways late grandmother. This is the tune that saw the band move a little closer to the big leagues.
3 – ‘Famous Last Words’
‘Famous Last Words’ begins with the tension of a ticking bomb. Building up to a face melting guitar riff before finally kicking into a driving chorus. The refrain “I am not afraid to keep on living” is enough to inspire the most broken of souls.
2 – ‘I’m not Okay (I Promise)
‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’ is the song that brought My Chemical Romance to a bigger audience and continues to be one of their most well-known tunes. The video for the song was also a parody on the teen movie sensation. Definitely worth a peak.
1 – ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’
The impressive ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ is certainly worthy of the top position in this list. Starting off with a poignant piano melody it grows to euphoric levels, comparable to the rock opera style of Queen. The song goes from the idea of being confronted with death (the black parade) to a message of hope “We’ll carry on”. Pretty heavy themes for rock music but then again My Chemical Romance were no ordinary band.
For those of you who have never really taken the time to explore this band I hope this list provides you with a great starting point. But remember this list only scratches the surface and with four studio albums there are plenty more where they came from.