Famous Last Words (My Chemical Romance song)

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"Famous Last Words"
Single by My Chemical Romance
from the album The Black Parade
B-side "My Way Home Is Through You"
"Kill All Your Friends"
Released January 22, 2007
Format 7" vinyl
CD
Digital download
Recorded 2006
Length 4:59 (album version)
4:18 (alternate version)
Label Reprise
Writer(s) My Chemical Romance
Producer(s) Rob Cavallo, My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance singles chronology
"Welcome to the Black Parade"
(2006)
"Famous Last Words"
(2007)
"I Don't Love You"
(2007)
Additional covers
Alternate CD cover

"Famous Last Words" is a song by the American band My Chemical Romance. It was released as the band's second single on January 22, 2007 from their third studio album, The Black Parade. It is also the band's ninth overall single. The music video premiered on December 12, 2006 on MTV2 and on December 13, 2006 on the Much Music program, and on MuchOnDemand in Canada.

In the United Kingdom and other territories, the single was released as a two-part square shaped vinyl picture disc. Part one came in a gatefold stickered clear sleeve, with a space to 'slot' part two into.

Promotion[edit]

The video was officially premiered in the United States on the January 11 episode of Total Request Live, and debuted on the countdown the following Tuesday at No. 5, the band's highest TRL debut for a video. It went onto become their third No. 1 video on the countdown (following "Helena" and "The Ghost of You"). On March 26, 2007 the video retired at No. 5 on TRL. On March 12, 2007, they performed this song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It was made available for download for the Xbox 360's Guitar Hero II game on August 15, 2007, along with "Teenagers", and "This Is How I Disappear", adding to their song shipped with the game, "Dead!".

Music video[edit]

The official video for "Famous Last Words" was directed by Samuel Bayer and was filmed before the band had even named the song. The music video shows the Black Parade float that the band performed on in "Welcome to the Black Parade" burning and destroyed. The rest of the background is scattered with burning props from the "Welcome to the Black Parade" video, and fire is seen all around. All followers of The Black Parade have abandoned the band, and they appear to be in a desperate state. Lead singer Gerard Way looks particularly rough, and he seems be dying or extremely ill because of the makeup he is wearing, especially around his eyes. This makeup is similar to that worn by The Patient in the "Welcome to the Black Parade" video. Way adopts a wide-eyed, insane-looking facial expression. In some parts of the video, he wears a mask with a skull design on it. The band's condition deteriorates as the song goes on until they revert to thrashing around in the dirt while performing. At the end of the video, they drop their instruments and run away from the burning float.

Although this video appears to represent a relatively basic concept in comparison to past videos, it is regarded by fans as by far the darkest video the band has created. In an interview for the music video, Way says that it was written at "the darkest period in this band's career". A shortened edit of the song is used in the video, with one bridge and two chorus repeats removed. The instrumentals at the end of the song continue in the video, with a sustained guitar chord accompanying the last few vocal lines; in the album version, they were faded out by engineer Chris Lord-Alge until only Way's voice and a harmony of other band members can be heard, along with a backing of soft organ chords.

Drummer Bob Bryar sustained second and third degree burns on the back of his legs while shooting the video, yet persisted in staying until the recording was finished. This later resulted in gangrene. Way tore muscle in his leg and foot when Frank Iero tackled him while he was in a kneeling position, which left him in a hospital for several days. Way recalls that, during the filming, they were all "mortified" from the engulfing flames surrounding the set. After the stay in the hospital, the doctors refused to let them perform in San Diego as the band originally planned.

The video premiered in the United States on Total Request Live on January 11, 2007. On January 24, 2007, the video reached the No. 1 spot on TRL, and spent nine days at the top of the countdown, before becoming the band's first video to retire on the countdown on March 26, 2007. The US version of the video is mostly the same as the version first seen in the UK, the only difference being that it completely cuts out Bryar's incident with the heat at the end of the video. This version has started to air on British television, or at least on the music channels Scuzz TV and Kerrang! TV. The video has been viewed more than 50 million times on YouTube. As of January 19, it is the fourth most viewed video in the "music" section (behind videos such as their own video for "Teenagers"), and the seventh most viewed video on the entire site.

Charts[edit]

"Famous Last Words" debuted at No. 68 on the UK Singles Chart on downloads alone on January 14, 2007. It was physically released as a single on January 22. It climbed to No. 38 in its second week, still on downloads. "Famous Last Words" marked My Chemical Romance's second Top 10 hit in the UK, reaching No. 8. On January 24, 2007, the video for "Famous Last Words" reached the No. 1 spot on TRL after a seven-day climb to the top from their debut at No. 5.[1] In early February, the song debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at No. 93 before reaching its peak at No. 88."[2]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
ARIA Singles Chart 20
Austrian Singles Chart 57
Canadian Singles Chart 52
Czech Singles Chart 84
European Hot 100 30
German Singles Chart 68
Irish Singles Chart 30
RIANZ Singles Chart 6
Norway Singles Top 20 11
Portugal Singles Chart 1
Sweden Singles Chart 37
UK Singles Chart 8
UK Rock Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 88
US Billboard Pop 100 87
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 23
US Billboard Alternative Songs 4
Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)[3] 2

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Lithium" by Evanescence
UK Rock Chart number-one single
January 28, 2007 - March 11, 2007
Succeeded by
"Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour" by Enter Shikari

Track listing[edit]

Version 1 (promotional CD)

No. Title Length
1. "Famous Last Words" (album version) 4:59
2. "Famous Last Words" (alternate version) 4:18

Version 2 (CD and 7" vinyl)

No. Title Length
1. "Famous Last Words"   4:18
2. "My Way Home Is Through You"   2:58[4]

Version 3 (7" vinyl)

No. Title Length
1. "Famous Last Words"   4:59
2. "Kill All Your Friends"   4:31[5]

Version 4 (CD)

No. Title Length
1. "Famous Last Words"   4:18
2. "My Way Home Is Through You"   2:58
3. "Kill All Your Friends"   4:31[6]

Version 5 (digital download)

No. Title Length
1. "Famous Last Words" (live) 4:53
2. "My Way Home Is Through You"   2:58
3. "Kill All Your Friends"   4:31

References[edit]

External links[edit]