How My Chemical Romance's Welcome To The Black Parade became an emo anthem

23 October 2023, 20:00

My Chemical Romance in their Welcome To The Black Parade video
My Chemical Romance in their Welcome To The Black Parade video. Picture: YouTube/My Chemical Romance

By Jenny Mensah

Find out more about My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade album and why its title track almost never made it on the LP.

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My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade album was released in October 2006.

The third studio effort to come from Gerard Way and co, the concept album is considered one of the band's most accomplished works. It also gave the band their first UK number one single, Welcome To The Black Parade.

The lead track from the album wasn't just an aural spectacle, but a visual one too, with its video depicting a patient being taken by death in the form of a parade.

It's hard to imagine the album without its lead single, but did you know it almost didn't feature on the album at all and that it originally had a totally different name?

Find out more about Welcome To The Black Parade here.

My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade [Official Music Video]

Welcome To The Black Parade was released on 12 September 2006, with the studio version available on the band's Myspace (remember that?) on 2nd September.

Its accompanying video, which was directed by Samuel Bayer, is considered among the most memorable rock videos of the decade and in 2017 was dubbed MTV's Greatest Music Video of the Century.

However, the song actually began its life with a completely different title, which we reckon has slightly less of a ring to it.

Speaking on The Travis Mills Show, frontman Gerard Way revealed: "Originally, that song was called The Five of Us Are Dying.

"We played it and we really liked it, and I had felt that we needed that one song on the record, that touchstone that kind of introduces your concept, and the lyrics and the themes of that song kind of embody the themes of the record."

However, they didn't always feel this way...

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance plays Hammersmith Palais in 2006
Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance plays Hammersmith Palais in 2006. Picture: Jo Hale/Getty Images

Before the band - completed at the time by Mikey Way, Ray Toro, Frank Inero and Bob Bryar - reworked their now classic song, they didn't want it on the album because they thought it was "about nothing".

“All the other songs had really strong themes and titles and things like that," Way revealed. "Anytime it got brought up before we started breaking it, any time it kind of got brought up, especially by my AR, Craig Aaronson, I would just kind of shoo him away about it and be like, ‘Yeah, that song’s about nothing. I’m not interested in that one.'”

It took re-working the song and fully incorporating the theme of the album into it (as well as nailing that iconic piano introduction) to change their minds.

"... We didn’t want to just give up on the song," Way continued. "So then I started to bring the concept into the musical side of things, where I was like, ‘I want to call this ‘Black Parade’, I want there to be a parade on the record’, and we started breaking the song and reconstructing it.”

He added: "Once we re-approached it from the perspective of starting with a completely new introduction and a new way to start the song, it helped us fix the rest of it."

15 years later and its hard to imagine The Black Parade without its flagship single. What was once a throwaway song has now become one of the band's most famous pieces of work to date.

We're not sure exactly what made Gerard Way and the band persevere on The Five Of Us Are Dying, but we're glad they did!