Happy 17th anniversary to Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. To celebrate this masterpiece, here’re 10 things you should know about the album.
1- The story behind the cover
The cover of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was actually a painting by Gerard Way called « The Demolition Lovers » (just like the last track of the previous album) & represents Bonnie & Clyde. In real life, Clyde died 1st. That’s why the man in the album didn’t know if his lover was still alive and was looking for her. You can see a little white heart on his face, the only immaculate thing on his bloody forehead because their love was bulletproof.
2 – The real Helena
Even if it’s a concept album, there are a few songs on it that don’t really fit the story.
Helena is the first track on the album and was supposed to introduce the characters to us. It finally became a thoughtful tribute to Gerard and his bassist brother Mikey Way’s late grandmother. During the last year of her life, the band was touring a lot and the Way brothers weren’t really here for Helena. The sadness turned into self-hate. That’s the main message of the song. “The record ended up being much more about loss and real life than anything,” said singer Gerard Way.
3 – Familiar places in music videos
The church in the music video for Helena seems familiar after all these years? You are right, which means you probably saw it in the Amazing Spiderman and in an episode of Criminal Minds.
I‘m Not Okay and New Perspective by Panic! At The Disco were both shot at Alexander Hamilton High school (Los Angeles).
4 – « To The End« , the song inspired by a creepy poem
The guys have always been fascinated by horror movies and books. Their song To The End (2004) was inspired by A Rose for Emily, a short story William Faulkner published in 1930. It’s the story of a woman who killed a man she couldn’t live without & then slept next to his dead body to stay with him forever, to the end. Creepy…
5 – The Ghost Of You, an important song that definitely changed their sound
The track was quite different at the beginning, then they decided to repeat the chorus one last time just after the final bridge to give more intensity, more depth, to the song. It led them to rethink the way of making their songs.
6 – The Black Parade prequel?
Mikey Way wears a medal on his black parade uniform because he actually died in The Ghost of You music video. It’s probably the « War Cross (39-45) ». It closely parallels the Omaha invasion scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan. The ball scene also reminds us of another movie, Pearl Harbor.
7 – The “kinky” story behind « You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison«
The song You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison is about a man going to jail after killing many people. Bert McCracken of The Used provides backup vocals during the second verse of the song. According to the band The True Lives of My Chemical Romance by Tom Bryant, this song was also inspired by a kiss Gerard and Bert shared during a game of truth or dare. Gerard, who linked being on the road to being in prison at times, says he began to trust Bert like he would a cellmate.
8 – You can buy a Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge eyeshadow palette
The band did a collaboration with make-up company HipDot last year. The collection consists of a double ended liquid eyeliner and double ended retractable eyeshadow brush. This was never a phase.
9- « Hang Em’ High« , a nod to Western movies
Hang Em’ High is about a man and a woman who are separated by death. The man is in Hell and the woman is in Heaven. It’s the western version of the same story and the beginning of the track actually sounds like a movie soundtrack. In fact, the song was named after the 1968 Western film Hang ‘Em High, starring Clint Eastwood.