One of this generation’s greatest concept records and rock operas is officially a teenager, and is probably filled with more angst and anger than ever.
After witnessing the tragic events of 9/11, frontman Gerard Way founded My Chemical Romance and took the rock scene by storm.
They gained success and popularity with the release of their sophomore album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge in 2004. It’s both tragic and romantic, with a violent take on loss and love. Inspiration is drawn from the loss of both Way and bassist/ younger brother Mikey Way’s grandmother.
Filled front to back with amazing track after another, it went certified platinum in the first year and has sold over three million copies in the U.S. alone.
On October 23, 2006, “The Patient” was born, and the world welcomed the The Black Parade with open arms.
Produced by Grammy Award Winner Rob Cavallo ( Green Day, Paramore), The Black Parade focuses on “The Patient” who is dying of cancer. We witness the story through his reflection on his own life, before death comes to him in the form of a parade, and the experiences he faces in the afterlife.
The bone-chilling beeps of an EKG machine echo at the beginning of the album in “The End,” setting the tone for My Chemical Romance’s masterpiece.
This album, yet again, is filled with dark and bloody killer song after killer song, with tracks like “Mamma,” “Dead!,” and “Cancer.”
Way’s insane lyrics and vocal ability are met with guitarist Ray Toro and Frank Iero’s incredible guitar riffs any fan of the rock genre can get behind.
Songs like, “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words” took My Chemical Romance to the top, debuting the album at number two on the Billboard 200. It sold 240,000 copies in its first week and as of January 2018, the album had sold over three million copies in the Untied States.
Queen’s A Night at the Opera, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars have been cited as heavy influences for this record. Way made this especially apparent during their live production of the album in the months that followed.
During The Black Parade World Tour, the five members of the band wore black marching uniforms, often compared to the ones worn by The Beatles for the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The marching uniforms signified the bands part in the Black Parade, fronted by the stage-dramatics of Way.
“Welcome to the Black Parade” is arguably a new generation’s new “Bohemian Rhapsody;” an operatic beauty that will be sung in car rides and basements for years on end. This album will undoubtably stand the test of time for many generations to come as the Black Parade continues to carry on.
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