MCR

10 Albums at 10: #9 My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade

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Vulture Hound is looking back at 10 albums which turn 10 years old in 2016. This week Rai Jayne Hearse wishes My Chemical Romance’s album The Black Paradea happy 10th birthday.

It’s been 10 years since My Chemical Romance released their third studio album The Black Parade, 10 years and I’m still wearing way too much eyeliner and red eye shadow and I can’t figure out whether this is a good thing…or a really sad thing.

The platinum-selling ‘rock opera’ follows the journey of ‘The Patient’ through his tragically young death into the reflections and misadventures of his afterlife, a concept based on singer Gerard Way’s notion of Death appearing to a person in the form of their fondest memory, in this case seeing a parade as a child with his father.

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As a committed MCR fan, I remember feeling disappointed when this album was first released, it was ‘so clean and professional’ and completely different from the emotional rawness of the previous two albums. The final cut of the albums first single ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ contained over 167 different recorded tracks and I may have even used the phrase ‘over-produced’ despite not actually knowing that meant, but over the past decade I’ve come to truly appreciate what an exquisite tour-de-force this album is. You can feel the heart and soul flowing through every track on the record, particularly ‘Famous Last Words’, ‘The Sharpest Lives’, ‘Cancer’, and the moving ‘I Don’t Love You’.

‘I certainly feel you have to suffer for your art,’ says Gerard. “…we don’t feel like we’ve made true art unless we’ve suffered a great deal. Only people who have suffered a great deal have something to say.’

The Black Parade, or as bassist Mikey Way calls it ‘Pre-Midlife Crisis and the Infinite Sadness’, was the darkest period for the band and is known as the album that nearly killed My Chemical Romance. The process of recording the album, filming the videos and embarking on the longest tour of their careers left the band broken and hurting emotionally, physically, and mentally. It seems as though the bouts of severe food poisoning, torn ligaments, wrist injuries, third degree burns and mental breakdowns were necessary evils to birth this monstrous masterpiece.

‘The intention was to make something that was classic, something timeless,” explained guitarist Ray Toro. ‘Something that 20 or 30 years from now, parents could play for their kids and say, “This is what I was listening to when I was your age. Check it out, it’s still fucking cool.” We wanted to make a record you could pass down.’

Well guys, it’s been 10 years so far and it’s still fucking cool.