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I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love [Explicit]Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge [Explicit]

The Black Parade [Clean]Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys [Explicit]

With the recent announcement that My Chemical Romance is reuniting, our staff inhaled a collective breath of nostalgia and revisited the band’s discography.  From their rawer beginnings to their epic, glistening concept albums, MCR is a band that is forever tied to the mid-2000s emo punk-rock phase.  Whether or not the group aspired to great artistic heights is certainly debatable, but it’s pretty much indisputable that they were a damned ton of fun.  So put on your black eyeliner, stick some pins in your backpack, slip on your wristbands, and join us as we revisit one of the most grandiose, over-the-top bands of our era.  Here are our top 10 My Chemical Romance songs – let us know what you think in the comments section!


Sputnik Staff Top 10 My Chemical Romance Songs:

 

#10: “The Sharpest Lives”

During their prime, there was more substance to My Chemical Romance’s output than they were credited for. The songs’ lyrics always peeled layers off loose narratives, but most of them could’ve been easily enjoyed out of context as well. ‘The Sharpest Lives’ is a fine example of an ode to living life at its fullest, indulging in all the vices and excesses without thinking of consequences. Musically, it retained the energy found on Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, yet showcasing a more refined approach to structures. Gerard Way leveled up his delivery too, especially during the catchy, melodic choruses. — insomniac15

 

#9: “Cemetery Drive”

One of the final moments on Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, ‘Cemetery Drive’ benefits from a beautiful contrast between the more upbeat instrumental and heart wrenching lyrics. The clean, staccato guitar notes and marching snare fills sound as if on the verge of bursting, while Gerard passionately sings about the death of the album’s protagonist’s lover. As expected, the chorus is powerful and infectious, whereas the lack of a pompous vibe helps building the track’s elegiac tone. — insomniac15

 

#8: “Welcome to the Black Parade”

Gotta be straight with all of you here– my first knee-jerk reaction to writing about this thing, this powerhouse conglomerate of a song, was just to throw down the song’s intro and then call it a day. The intro is a classic opening set of lyrics and is known by all fans of My Chemical Romance, so fuck it, I guess. But, yes, but, there is more to be said here, and though we obviously don’t consider the band’s most successful and ambitious song as being amongst their elite pickings, via staff consensus and all, we must give credit where credit is due. Take any modern rock/punk band with mainstream inclinations, whether from today, or a decade ago, and task them with making a multi-suite, epic, Queen-size, wrecking-ball petition for stardom, and have it break into the Hot 100 while doing so. History has told us: it only happens once, so in that fact we find and fondly remember “Welcome To The Black Parade” for being the masterful example of arena-ready-rock songwriting that it truly is. Anthems just don’t get any bigger, nor successful, than this. — Observer

 

#7: “It’s Not A Fashion Statement, It’s a Fucking Deathwish”

I can’t quite articulate why the lyrics in “It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Fucking Deathwish” connect with me so strongly. Every line is vague in a way that allows for a more visceral interpretation. “Do you remember that day we met? You told me things get harder, well it did”. What does that mean exactly? I don’t know, but I feel it. And the constant soaring octave chords underneath it all reinforce that sense of fist-pounding, heart-racing-adrenaline. “It’s Not a Fashion Statement” has no chorus and only a couple repeating parts, and yet it’s perhaps the band’s catchiest song. Gerard Way goes absolutely in on this track – outside of the mostly instrumental intro, this song is the Gerard show. “For what you did to me, and what I’ll do to you. You get what everyone else gets, you get a lifetime”. Goddamn man. That did the trick for my twelve-year-old brain in a way I still don’t understand. I listened to Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge every single day throughout Jr. High, and I’m starting to think I should pick that habit back up. — Trebor.

 

#6: “Thank You for the Venom”

There are many other bands I’d go to first for the full-blown adrenaline hit that a riff-heavy monster jam can provide – that’s not a criticism, but in my mind My Chemical Romance are a band built around hooks and theatricality, singalongs and melodies. The exception is “Thank You for the Venom”, the one jam that forces me to pull over my car so I don’t start doing 130 on the highway. Frank Iero’s gnarliest riffwork is borderline metalcore, and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge‘s immaculate production sees the ample rhythm work keep the song in check. But as always, once Gerard Way takes the mic it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. One of his catchiest choruses is weighed against the furious, thrashing death throes of screamy My Chemical Romance before they were subsumed by The Black Parade‘s grandiosity. Promise all you want that this time you won’t be flailing your arms and banging your head like a goddamn maniac to “Thank You for the Venom” – it’s a bet you’re gonna lose. —Rowan

 

#5: “Mama”

I don’t know why my teenage self insisted on being so astounded at The Black Parade like it was some huge departure for My Chemical Romance. Sure, the concept teased out some stylistic tics that weren’t quite foregrounded, but all that theatricality and flair were inherent in the band since the first note they played. With that in mind, “Mama” is the one song that still holds a surprise after all this time. This song is truly fucking bonkers – it scans like Pink Floyd’s “The Trial” filtered through The Wizard of Oz and Broadway, with a metalcore breakdown for seasoning. Liza Minnelli’s vocals are the most infamous moment on the album, but my favourite touch is how that brief classical oasis is bookended by the nastiest moments on the record – “but this shit that I’ve done WITH THIS FUCK OF A GUN” constituting my favourite Gerard Way delivery of all time. It’s not all that hard to see the My Chemical Romance of Three Cheers writing “This Is How I Disappear” or “House of Wolves”, but if you’re telling me you saw a symphony of insanity like “Mama” coming in 2006, you’re a goddamn liar.  — Rowan

 

#4: “The Ghost of You”

A soppy, sometimes histrionic, ballad; needless to say I love it, and I think it’s because Gerard Way delivers his lyrics with such unabashed sincerity that it’s impossible to avoid contagion via direct contact. Surprisingly moving, perhaps because of eschatological claims (“at the end of the world or the last thing I see”), perhaps because everyone can relate to someone “never coming home”, perhaps because of that glorious moment when the requisite CHUGGA CHUGGA guitars at 40 seconds rip through the Third Eye Blind-esque ones as replacement. While it never achieved the great heights of their other singles and is consequently less known for those unfamiliar with their output, time has shown it to be as worthy a choice as any. — Winesburgohio

 

#3: “Disenchanted”

The reason “Disenchanted” remains a special standout for My Chemical Romance can be pinpointed directly to the potent storytelling. The band have written bigger hooks, I concur, but nothing quite like the most relatable track on The Black Parade. When Gerald reminisces on his rebellious past – recalling running from the cops and laughing so hard it would sting – it strikes a chord in all of us. Visions from our youth come rushing to the surface in colorful detail. We didn’t all have the law chasing us down left and right, but we’ve all had those late nights of getting into trouble with our friends growing up; nights of having a few too many but having a lasting story to tell. “Disenchanted” is effective because it taps into this collective spirit of our youth while also giving the nod to… duh, the music! Raising hell is one thing, but as Gerald so aptly puts it, nothing connects with him like the roar of the crowd. “Disenchanted” is a passionate love letter to music that tells its story utilizing everything from gentle guitar plucking to some of the charismatic singer’s most explosive verses. If there’s one song in MCR’s career that perfectly encapsulates the nostalgia of our adolescence and how music played its part, this is it. Some of their tracks are just good fun, but this one will stand the test of time – at least for many of us sentimental music nerds. — Atari

 

#2: “Helena”

You hear “Helena” by My Chemical Romance. You’re blown back to those vestiges of youth, the embarrassing parts you’ve selectively excised because god forbid you remember the eye liner or silicone bands you wore around your wrists for some reason. But “Helena” is the type of song you see—the on-the-nose Hot Topic aesthetic, Gerard Way’s contorted singing face, and all that garish black and red. Fight it all you want but you remember waiting for that video on Fuse so you could sing along with Way’s outrageous diphthong and pantomime all the hand movements.

But as silly as you remember it, “Helena” still sounds like a banger. You remember all the words, the hooks are still just as infectious, and MCR’s gaudy theatrics are surprisingly endearing after all these years. It feels good, not just the memories but the song itself. It’s a masterclass in mid-aughts pop-punk and, henny you’re here for it. Hell, at this point, you won’t even feel bad when it’s on your Spotify 2019 playlist. — Xenophanes

 

#1: “Famous Last Words”

In context of the concept for ‘The Black Parade’, the video for “Famous Last Words” is perfect, as is the song itself. On film, the entity that is ‘The Black Parade’ is in fiery ruins; the members themselves are covered in ash, with the makeup running off their faces, the rest smudged with splotches of dust and exertion. It’s evident that prior to this event the show had gone out with a bang, yet here the band remains still with one last statement to make, the so-called ‘famous last words’, a statement that is very much the mirror counterpart of the message from the record’s massive title track, bar a change in pronouns: “We’ll carry on” becomes “I am not afraid to keep on living”. The pivotal moment in the song, and arguably the greatest moment in all of My Chemical Romance’s discography, comes in the bridge, however. Way breaks through the fourth wall with such startling honesty and bare humanity that you feel that you’re there with him, in the ruin, as is intended: “I see you lying next to me, with words I thought I’d never speak, awake and unafraid, asleep or dead.” The bridge repeats and builds, as does the song’s final chorus – you’ve heard it. The message is clear and universal to fans and stands as the definitive portrayal of what this fucking band has always been about: We are not afraid to keep on living, and together we are never alone.  — Observer


For additional staff top 10 lists, check out the following:

Top 10 National Songs

Top 10 Thrice Songs

Top 10 Say Anything Songs

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SowingSeason
11.18.19
Honorable Mentions:

11) I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
12) I Never Told You What I Do for a Living
13) Dead!

iglu
11.18.19
sleep>mama

SowingSeason
11.18.19
Chan and I were the only ones who even voted for Sleep smh.

iglu
11.18.19
Even teenagers would've been a better choice

SowingSeason
11.18.19
Nah Mama is a top 5 MCR song

JohnnyoftheWell
11.18.19
Fashion Statement and Disenchanted shit yes. Nice work guys :]

bloc
11.18.19
Drowning Lessons #1

Observer
11.18.19
Wow, this was out faster than we closed the door lol. Nice work guys.

Rowan5215
11.18.19
yeah but literally no one else voted for Desert Song, their best song, so count ur blessings sowingA

samwise2000
11.18.19
Glad to see Mama here!

DeadBitchAlexis
11.18.19
No songs from the debut

0/10 list

LightChaotic
11.18.19
Nice to see Helena, The Ghost Of You, and Cemetery Drive on here. I love the verses and the breakdown on Famous Last Words but the chorus has never really done it for me. Sharpest Lives is not one of my favorites off of Black Parade either. This Is How I Disappear, House Of Wolves, and Dead! are definitely above it for me. And I like I Don't Love You as ballad over Disenchanted. Mama is absolutely top 10 though.

Observer
11.18.19
people did have debut songs in their voting lists, but not enough up top clearly.

Supercoolguy64
11.18.19
No songs from Danger Days

Shit/10 list

Rowan5215
11.18.19
Summertime shoulda been on here agreed but what are you gonna do when the whole fanbase sleeps on it

SowingSeason
11.18.19
I voted for it < 3

DeadBitchAlexis
11.18.19
Danger Days is not slept on whatsoever. Terrible album.

LightChaotic
11.18.19
The Kids From Yesterday is secretly one of MCR's best songs.

Rowan5215
11.18.19
yea Sowing knows

the second half of DD bar Destroya is slept on as hell tbh. the rest sucks and I understand why people give up on it but it's secretly half a great alb

JohnnyoftheWell
11.18.19
Bulletproof Heart, Na Na Na, Planetary and The Only Hope For Me Is You are the bangers on Danger Days and they're all first half @Rowan :O

Rowan5215
11.18.19
Those cheesy power chords on Bulletproof Heart just kill it for me. and honestly Only Hope is down there with my least favourite MCR songs ever lmao, like what is this melodic progression and why in God's name is he doing a Tom DeLonge impersonation on the chorus??? can't do it chief

Na Na and SING are fun enough but I still like the psychedelic kinda vibe that kicks in around Save Yourself more personally

Slex
11.18.19
Actually 100% agree with top 3


Observer
11.18.19
Yeah, honestly Disenchanted would have made a way, way better single than I dont love you did.

SowingSeason
11.18.19
Disenchanted is both a better song and more mainstream marketable IMO, kind of weird they chose I Don't Love You. Of course, nearly every song on that album could have been made into a single...

ZippaThaRippa
11.18.19
Shitty

Lucman
11.18.19
This is How I Disappear is tops for me. It doesn't get mentioned nearly enough and I'm sad it see it miss the cut. Still, great read fellas.

onionbubs
11.18.19
no hang em high but respectable list otherwise

insomniac15
11.18.19
"Summertime shoulda been on here agreed but what are you gonna do when the whole fanbase sleeps on it"

I think I was the only one who had that song on the list haha

ItsTheSquirrel
11.18.19
NIce to see some love for Cemetery Drive

Feather
11.18.19
You guys crushed the #1 pick. Good work.

SowingSeason
11.18.19
For me it was always between Famous Last Words and Helena, glad the consensus agreed :-)

ChoccyPhilly
11.18.19
Yes, now this is a blog worthy post :)

Oddly enough, I was literally having a lil nostalgia session with MCR today. Happy to see Cemetary Drive and Venom here but I think I never told you what I do for a living and Vampires deserves a spot. Either way though, thanks for enhancing my moment of nostalgia

Keyblade
11.18.19
missing This Is How I Disappear but top 3 is right, maybe not the order I'd have it in tho

Rowan5215
11.19.19
" I think I was the only one who had that song on the list haha"

Sowing and I both had it too, but at #17 it wasn't getting a massive bump tbf

Cormano
11.19.19
Glad to see Cemetery getting some love, but I was hoping Vampires, Lovers and Kill al your Friends would make the cut

Green Baron
11.19.19
Famous Last Words is just the corniest shit

Frippertronics
11.19.19
why do you try so hard

Chambered79
11.19.19
I can't believe how no one ever says early sunsets over Monroeville. It's so clearly their best song

Keyblade
11.19.19
"Famous Last Words is just the corniest shit"

monsieur greenlinkinmuse, u have 4 Brand New albums rated 4.5 or higher

Relinquished
11.19.19
always thought Ghost of You was a real solid song but they never had another well-written dramatic track like that. couldn't get into them cuz of that lol

bloc
11.19.19
Ghost of You is easily their best song other than Drowning Lessons.

ChoccyPhilly
11.19.19
Lyrics slightly put me off Ghost of You. Still love it but the way Gerard sings 'tonight she dies' kinda irks me

bloc
11.19.19
I like them jazzy guitars

SowingSeason
11.19.19
I believe Wines and I both had Early Sunsets on our list, but I don't remember if anyone else did.

Green Baron
11.19.19
Brand New albums don’t offer a glimmer of hope the way Famous Last Words does. “I am not afraid to keep on living / walk this world alone” is the cheesiest lyric out there. It’s way too optimistic to be on a Brand New album.

JohnnyoftheWell
11.19.19
optimism at the end of a melodramatic album about death and cancer is no way near edgy enough agreed, bring back the songs with totally non-corny lyrics about drowning babies and eating your young

keza
11.20.19
Famous Last Words is goddamn spectacular, and was what made me fall in love with emo/heavier rock music in general before I even knew it.

mrsaturn123
11.20.19
My goodness I'm so glad to see Mama on this, like that's easily a top 5 for me
Do wish Drowning Lessons or Early Sunsets was on here

Also, not sure if it's a top 10 contender but am I the only one that loves Scarecrow?

Rowan5215
11.21.19
nah I fuck with Scarecrow a lot, amazing vibes

Cormano
11.21.19
Scarecrow is so dope

mrsaturn123
11.21.19
Oh good thankyou
Great ass song and underrated as heck

LightChaotic
11.21.19
Scarecrow is fantastic. It feels like Gerard was testing out the sound that he would go on to use in his solo stuff.

KrillBoi
11.21.19
Very solid list and I agree with most of it, but Sleep not being on here is sad. One of their most underrated songs in my opinion, that ending outro is fucking massive!

mrsaturn123
11.22.19
Sleep is killer, totally should've made the list
Didn't used to like it when I was younger but hearing it now, totally agreeing with you on that outro.

ConcubinaryCode
11.22.19
Not bad picks. I really dislike I'm not ok though

Lord(e)Po)))ts
11.22.19
wow

WatchItExplode
11.22.19
I had Black Parade once, long since deleted.

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