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My Chemical Romance: Music Video History

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 1 November 2019 at 09.23

Because it's just so good to have them back.

It's literally all anyone can talk about right now - My Chemical Romance are BACK, and they've announced their comeback show for this December. 

In light of this absolutely brilliant news, we're getting hyped for their return by taking a look at all of their music videos, from start to finish. Starting with...

Where it all began. As dark, demonic and delicious as the song’s subject matter, MCR’s first ever music video takes plenty of cues from cinema’s long-standing relationship with horror. Shaky camerawork, ghostly shadows and nods to classics of the vampire genre ‘Dracula’ and ‘Nosferatu’ thrown in for good measure - this is a snapshot of a band with a taste for the theatric from the get-go. It’s raw, real and the start of something very special indeed.

Starting out as a sleazy casting call before developing into something much more sinister, this was the band’s first venture into a real narrative within their music videos. Once more paying tribute to the unpredictably disturbing world of horror, there are moments here that will surely make your skin crawl as the visuals take on more of a snuff film feel than a music video.

“I don’t wanna make it. I just wanna…”

The film that we all wanted to see but never got to. From the dance sequence in the library, and the game of crotchet out on the lawn, to Frank picking the bogie out of the girl’s eye, to tackling the school mascot - there are few frames in this wonderful homage to growing up awkwardly that haven’t become iconic in their own right. This was the moment that My Chemical Romance showed the world exactly what they were made of. Trust me.

A song written as a tribute to Gerard and Mikey’s grandmother was always going to be an emotional watch, but who could have predicted anything like this? Stylistically beautiful, perfectly choreographed and heart-wrenchingly real, you can feel the pain oozing out of the lyric being bellowed as you watch the band carry that casket out of the church during the epic finale. Spine-tingling stuff

Another example of how cinema has played a huge part in the MCR story, ‘The Ghost Of You’ is a hard watch. Depicting the band as soldiers fighting in wartime, the juxtaposition of the peaceful dance sequences next to the violent and ultimately heartbreaking fight scenes show off both a time that was all too real not that long ago but also the band’s ability to write music that compliments such harrowing times perfectly.

The curtain raiser on ‘The Black Parade’ era was as macabre and magnificent as you would ever hope it to be. Managing to be vibrant despite the grey surroundings, the start of the journey for The Patient is very similar to ‘I’m Not Okay’ in that every single frame has become as iconic as the song itself. The character design and atmosphere created through this five-minute epic is second to none, and may never truly be matched again. A true game changer in every sense of the word.

The polar opposite to ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ in style and substance, yet still as affecting and poignant, ‘Famous Last Words’ is successful in its simplicity. The set of emotions that cross Gerard’s face, from anger to devastation to sadness to desolation, say more than words ever truly could and as the parade burns to the ground you can’t help but wipe a tear away from your eye with him. You are at one with the band in this very moment.

Time for some more heartbreak, as two different narratives really get the waterworks going here. On one hand you have two completely opposite beings meeting, falling in love and eventually crumbling into dust which plays out as the main story line. Yet on the other hand you have Gerard looking like he’s about to burst into tears any minute as the words that fall out of his mouth appear to cut him to the core. Both together make for a sullen yet gorgeously affecting watch.

Probably one of the most straightforward videos within the MCR arsenal, but still one with plenty to get your teeth stuck into. From the cheerleaders in gasmasks, to the eventual stage invasion, the chaotic imagery all comes down to the important and poignant message of reaching out for help if you’re struggling. This is just one of the many occasions that MCR have used their platform as a means of helping and understanding their fan base when it probably felt like nobody else would or did.

Bob Dylan has never sounded so damn good. Appearing as the official song for the movie adaptation of Watchmen, MCR take one of Dylan’s most famous songs and inject a bit of punk rock energy into it. The video that accompanies this raucous rendition harks back to some of the violent and visceral shows that made up the early days of the punk and hardcore scenes. Admit it, you’d love to be crowdsurfing at that gig.

Killjoys, make some noise! Let’s all take a trip to California 2019 shall we? The ‘Danger Days...’ era kicked off in colourful and confusing fashion as we were delivered the most cinematic and ambitious creation that My Chemical Romance had ever come up with. From the costumes to the car chases, just sit back and take it all in.

The conclusion to the ‘Danger Days’ narrative is very similar to that of how ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ changes to ‘Famous Last Words’ in terms of the atmosphere shift. Much darker, much more sullen and much more heartbreaking, it felt as though we had only just met the killjoys before they were ripped away from us once more.

Half live footage video, half chaotic propaganda clip, this wide-eyed and wonderful video suits the song that soundtracks it down to a tee. Loud, brash and full of life, it’s hard to not get whipped up in the frenzy of it all


Another live video but one that feels much more sentimental than the one we saw for ‘Planetary (GO!)’. From the studio to the stage, the front of the crowd to the back of the van, this is a view of a band doing what they do best in the most touching of manners. Showcasing footage from every single era of MCR, it’s hard not to get a little bit choked up watching it all unfold.

Serving as a trailer for the Greatest Hits compilation ‘May Death Never Stop You’, the swansong that is ‘Fake Your Death travels through the history of the band in stunning fashion. Taking us behind the scenes and giving us different angles of iconic shots from the band’s visual history while also showing off the stunning statue that appears on the cover of the compilation, you can’t help but smile despite what it represented at the time.

Taken from what looks like an outtake of the ‘Teenagers’ video, this little bonus drop of MCR goodness that appeared at the very end of ‘The Black Parade’ got a visual back in 2014, a year after the band had split. It’s worth a watch simply just for the SURPRISE DOG.

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