Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge

Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was the bands second studio album. It was their first album release on Reprise Records that was commercially available. There were four singles released from the album, Thank You for the Venom, I’m Not Okay (I Promise), Helena and The Ghost of You.

Revenge is really the band. Bullets is the band trying to find itself, by the time we hit revenge we had really become My Chemical Romance.
Gerard Way – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

Track Listing

Concept

The album concept was originally based around the two “Demolition Lovers” who featured in the previous album, I Brought You My Bullets, Your Brought Me Your Love, however, due to personal difficulties at the time of production, the album ended up being more about loss, more specifically, the loss of Gerard and Mikey’s grandmother Elena Lee Rush.

The concept for the record Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, was the story of a man and a woman who are separated by death in a gunfight and he goes to hell only to realize by the devil telling him that she’s still alive. The devil says you can be with here again if you bring me the souls of a thousand evil men and so he hands him and a gun and he says I’ll go do it. That was the idea behind the concept, the record ended up being much more about loss and real life than anything, so I would say it’s a good split.
Gerard Way – 2004/2005

In the end, listening to the record, I was like, ‘Wow this record is really about loss’. It took me a couple of listens to really get the scope of the record and realize that it was really that blatantly about loss and death throughout almost every song. But I think death is something that we’ll always write about because it’s… tragic, negative and beautiful at the same time. It’s very beautiful and it can be a very positive thing. It comes up very frequently on the record, to the point where people have asked me how the story ends. I’m kind of like, ‘What do you think? Do you think the guy gets what he wants?’.
Gerard Way – 2004/2005

I was like, ‘I think I could run with this ‘Demolition Lovers’ thing’. I just felt like there needed to be this tragic, romantic, violent aspect going on in there. So I kind of married two subjects, love and revenge, and just added a slight supernatural element to that and was able to come up with basically what I think is a good metaphor for how this band operates and how we live our lives and how we feel you should live your life.
Gerard Way – 2004/2005

Lyrically we wanted to take music to a place that it hadn’t been in a long time, which was to tell stories and use kind of these sweeping meatphors instead of just, ‘You broke my heart’.
Gerard Way – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

The album also deals with many other issues and emotions such as homosexuality, rejection, pain, fear and hope.

See also: Song Information section for information on each song

Recording

Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was the bands first recording since their switch to Reprise Records. The record company spent a considerable amount of money on the recording process which was an initial shock to the band since the recording of their debut album, which had been recorded in a friends basement.

You know, we has this phase called ‘Pre-production’.
Ray Toro – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

When we made Revenge it was a completely different ball game. It was different. You showed up to this big studio, you know?, there was a lot of money and like crazy equipment, they had microphones that cost more than your first car.
Gerard Way – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

The album was to be produced by Howard Benson, who is most notable for his work on four Motörhead records, which was what interested the band in working with him.

He had made four Motörhead records, and that’s what got us interested about him. What also got us interested about him was the fact that he contacted us, and that’s like how we like to work.
Gerard Way – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

Record Release

It was our record release show, and it was sold out and I remember there was like, something like 2500 people there and just like seeing that many people just moving in unison or singing along, it was overwhelming.
Mikey Way – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

Reception And Sales

The record company and manager, Brian Schechter had agreed that if they could sell 300,000 copies they would be happy. To date, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has sold over 1 million copies in the United States and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. It received a Platinum sales certification in the UK, Double Platinum in Canada and Gold in Ireland. In its best week, the album sold 38,000 copies. The record sold more than the debut, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, but was outsold by the bands third album, The Black Parade.

The funniest thing about Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge is that the label and I had agreed that if we could sell 300,000 copies we would be happy, and then you know, the first week of sales I had predicted 3000 and we had no idea what was gonna happen, in the very first day we kept getting phone calls about how great things were going and I think right about then is when we realized something weird was going to happen. The fact that the very first day had sold twice as many as the previous record had sold in it’s whole lifespan at that point, I think we realized that something big was about to happen. You know, they just continued working through the summer and then it was just a flood of good news, they sold like 120,000 records through that summer.
Brian Schechter – Life On The Murder Scene – 2006

Vinyl Release

A vinyl version of the album was released on December 16th 2008 and was only available through the bands official website store. The limited edition vinyl piece featured one red colored vinyl disc in a custom jacket with Gerard’s hand written lyric sheet of the song ‘Helena,’ a die-cut ‘dueling guns’ stencil insert featuring the old My Chemical Romance logo, and a sticker insert. The custom jacket states ‘REVENGE’ on the cover.
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