Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

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Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Danger Days-album-2010.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 22, 2010 (2010-11-22)
RecordedJune 2009–July 2010
StudioCalabasas, California[1]
My Chemical Romance chronology
The Black Parade Is Dead!
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
The Mad Gear and Missile Kid
Singles from Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
  1. "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"
    Released: September 28, 2010
  2. "The Only Hope for Me Is You"
    Released: October 11, 2010
  3. "Sing"
    Released: November 3, 2010
  4. "Planetary (Go!)"
    Released: March 25, 2011
  5. "Bulletproof Heart"
    Released: June 13, 2011
  6. "The Kids from Yesterday"
    Released: January 20, 2012

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (often referred to as simply Danger Days) is the fourth studio album by American rock band My Chemical Romance released on November 22, 2010, by Reprise Records. Its songs are associated with the band's well known sound of alternative rock, pop punk, and punk rock as well as introducing new elements, including power pop, pop rock, and electronic rock. The inspiration for the album came from contemporary rock, psychedelic rock, and protopunk bands of the sixties and seventies. It was the final album released by the band before their six year disbandment from 2013 to 2019.

The album's storyline follows a city in post-apocalyptic California in 2019, where a few outsiders called Killjoys fight against an evil corporation. In 2013, frontman Gerard Way published a comic that continues the story described in the album.

To promote the album, the band embarked on a world tour, titled The World Contamination Tour. It lasted from October 2010 to February 2012, and included concerts in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania; the band also co-headlined the 10th Annual Honda Civic Tour with Blink-182. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts, and at number 8 on the Billboard 200. It also appeared in the music charts in several other countries. By February 2011, Danger Days had sold over a million copies worldwide.


My Chemical Romance began writing material for their fourth album during The Black Parade World Tour, the promotional tour of their third album. At that time, they intended to create a more simple and stripped album, and claimed that they missed being a rock band. After finishing the tour in May 2008, the band took a break.

Musical and lyrical themes[edit]

Like the band's previous album The Black Parade, the album is a concept album. The story is based around the fictional lives of the "Killjoys", a group of rebellious rogues living in a post-apocalyptic California in the year 2019. Occasionally narrated by pirate radio DJ Dr. Death Defying (voiced by Steve Montano[10]), the album follows the group as they fight against the evil corporation Better Living Industries (BL/ind.) and its various "Draculoids" and exterminators, such as Korse (portrayed by Grant Morrison in music videos), from the S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W Unit.[11]

In music videos and promotional material, the band members would portray their "Killjoy" alter-egos: "Party Poison" (Gerard Way), "Jet-Star" (Ray Toro), "Fun Ghoul" (Frank Iero), and "The Kobra Kid" (Mikey Way).[7] The music video for "Na Na Na" shows the Killjoys' daily lives until Korse defeats them and captures "The Girl," while the video for "Sing" shows the Killjoys' rescue mission to get her back.

When asked about the album title in a November 2010 interview, frontman Gerard Way said that "Danger Days is what it takes to do something great. It refers to us, to the fans, for all we know and artists who helped shape the album".[citation needed] Rolling Stone calls Danger Days a total rejection of the rock infladísimo celebrity. "Na Na Na" presents criticism of consumerist culture of the United States. The band described the main theme of "SING" as "subversion, and to delve under the skin of certain individuals politically, socially, and also to reach national television to talk about how we feel about the world." Toro calls "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" a psychedelic song that "shows the artistic side of the band," and was heavily inspired by songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles. The final track, "Vampire Money," was a reaction to the band being asked to do a song for The Twilight Saga. Gerard Way said that the reason the song was on the album was because "there's a lot of people chasing that fucking money. 'Twilight?' A lot of people around us were like, 'Please, for the love of God, do this fucking movie.' But we'd moved on."[12]


Gerard Way in Montreal (Canada) during the tour Honda Civic Tour, in August 2011

The band posted a teaser trailer for the album on September 17, 2010 via their official YouTube account, titled "Art Is the Weapon".[13] On September 19, 2010, the band announced "The World Contamination Tour", taking place in parts of the UK, France, Amsterdam and Germany.[14] This was followed by US radio dates in December before moving onto Japan, a full Europe tour, a US tour, European festivals and the Honda Civic Tour with Blink-182 in 2011.

The album's first single "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" premiered on air September 22, 2010 via WRFF in Philadelphia, BBC Radio 1, and KROQ-FM in Los Angeles.[15] The track is featured in the film Movie 43, and is also featured in the video game The Sims 3: Late Night, sung in the fictional language of Simlish.[16] "The Only Hope for Me Is You" was released as a single on October 11, and was also given as a free download to anyone who pre-ordered the album on the iTunes Store. "SING" was covered on the Fox show Glee. "Planetary (Go!)" was featured in the video game Gran Turismo 5 and was also used in an advertisement for Super Bowl XLV. "The Kids From Yesterday" was premiered live on October 23, 2010. The songs "Na Na Na" and "Destroya" were also featured on the MTV show Teen Wolf.

Announced in an exclusive interview with Kerrang!, "Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back" was released as a free download on the band's official website on 5 November 2010.[17] The album premiered on November 16, 2010 on the band's official website, hosted by Dr. Death Defying.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[4]
Alternative Press4/5 stars[21]
The A.V. ClubD−[22]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[23]
The Guardian4/5 stars[24]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[25]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[27]
USA Today3.5/4 stars[29]

Upon its release, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys received generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 70, based on 26 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".[20]

Rock Sound received a preview of the album, commenting "the way they've used everything they learned on The Black Parade and tightened up in certain places feels natural and confident" and that it sees "the creativity of the band taking flight musically, graphically and literally."[30] Dan Martin of NME got the chance to preview the album and had equally positive reviews. He stated that "[t]his is the best rock record of the year by such a margin that you actually feel rather embarrassed for everybody else."[31] Alternative Press reviewed the album, and commented, "It's truly hard to believe this is the same act who exploded onto the scene six years ago with the emo anthem, "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"", as well as stating, "MCR have fully followed their own larger-than-life creative vision", with a rating of four stars.[21] Matt Heafy, frontman and guitarist of the metal band Trivium, listed the album as the fourth best album of 2010.[32] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic awarded the album four and a half stars out of five and said the band were "Swapping gothic pomp for metallic power pop..." and that "there’s no emo bloodletting but for most listeners it’s crystallized fun, the purest rush My Chemical Romance has ever delivered."[4]

Rock Sound later reviewed the album, saying that "If MCR were your favourite band in the past it might feel like it’s going to take some steady reappraisal before you ink their new logo on your rough book" and that "Danger Days simply sounds like they’re having way more fun than ever." with a rating of eight stars out of ten.[33] It was number 28 on Rolling Stone's list of the 30 Best Albums of 2010.[34]


Gerard Way at a concert in August 2011

In addition to the standard CD edition, the band also offered the California 2019 Edition exclusively through its official online store. The edition features the standard CD version of the album as well as an exclusive EP, The Mad Gear Missile Kid, a 48-page book titled Art Is the Weapon, a wooden "bad luck beads" bracelet, one of four polyresin prop ray-guns and a matching mask housed in a white box adorned with a photo sleeve. Because of manufacturing problems involving the craftsmanship of the 'ray-guns', the packages were shipped later in the year in February 2011.[35]

An iTunes deluxe version was also released featuring the song "We Don't Need Another Song About California" and the music video for "Na Na Na".

On September 20, 2019 a Picture Disc Vinyl was released by Warner Music.

Comic series[edit]

In 2009, Way announced his intent to create a companion comic series titled The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.[36] He later announced at the 2012 New York Comic Con that he would co-write the series with Shaun Simon, the artwork would be done by Becky Cloonan, and that the first issue of the series would be released on June 6, 2013, with a preview of the book getting released on Free Comic Book Day.[37] Way commented that the series would serve as the "last part of the story" and as a "coming to age story about a young girl".[37][38]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Frank Iero, Ray Toro, Gerard Way and Mikey Way, except where noted.[39].

1."Look Alive, Sunshine" (featuring Steve Montano) 0:29
2."Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"
3."Bulletproof Heart"
  • Bryar
  • Iero
  • Toro
  • G. Way
  • M. Way
4."Sing" 4:29
5."Planetary (Go!)" 4:06
6."The Only Hope for Me Is You"
  • Bryar
  • Iero
  • Toro
  • G. Way
  • M. Way
7."Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report" (featuring Steve Montano) 0:26
8."Party Poison"
  • Bryar
  • Iero
  • Toro
  • G. Way
  • M. Way
9."Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back"
  • Bryar
  • Iero
  • Toro
  • G. Way
  • M. Way
10."S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" 4:27
11."Summertime" 4:06
12."Destroya" 4:32
13."The Kids from Yesterday" 5:24
14."Goodnite, Dr. Death" (featuring Steve Montano) 1:58
15."Vampire Money" 3:37
Total length:53:56
iTunes deluxe version bonus content
16."We Don't Need Another Song About California"4:30
17."Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" (music video)4:06
Total length:62:29
Japanese version bonus track
16."Zero Percent"2:47
Total length:56:43

The Mad Gear and Missile Kid[edit]

The Mad Gear and Missile Kid is an exclusive three-track EP by a fictional alter-ego band of the same name, and comes with the California 2019 special edition of the album.[35][40] Guitarist Frank Iero told MTV "It's basically what the Killjoys are listening to in the car as they're having those gun battles".[41]


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[39]

My Chemical Romance

  • Bob Bryar – songwriting (tracks 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9)
  • Frank Iero – guitars, backing vocals and cover photograph for "Danger Days"
  • Ray Toro – guitars, backing vocals
  • Gerard Way – lead and backing vocals
  • Mikey Way – bass guitar; additional vocals (track 15)


  • Dorian Crozier – drums (track 3)
  • Airi Isoda as NewsAGoGo – additional vocals (track 8)
  • John Miceli – drums, percussion, backing vocals (track 9)
  • Steven Montano (Steve, Righ?) as Dr. Death Defying – vocals (tracks 1, 2, 7, and 14)
  • Jamie Muhoberackeyboards, sound design
  • Jonathan Rivera – additional vocals (track 9)
  • James Euringer (aka Little Jimmy Urine) – additional vocals (track 12)


Chart (2010) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[42] 10
Austrian Albums Chart[43][44] 15
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[45] 79
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[46] 99
Canadian Albums Chart[47] 13
Dutch Albums Chart[43][48] 60
European Top 100 Albums[49] 18
Finnish Albums Chart[43][50] 9
French Albums Chart[43][51] 80
Greek Albums Chart[52] 32
German Albums Chart[43] 18
Irish Albums Chart[43] 14
Italian Albums Chart[53] 37
Japanese Albums Chart[54] 8
Mexican Albums Chart[55] 9
New Zealand Albums Chart[56] 4
Norwegian Albums Chart[43] 21
Polish Albums Chart[43] 46
Scottish Albums Chart[57] 13
Spanish Albums Chart[58] 31
Swedish Albums Chart[59] 34
Swiss Albums Chart[60] 25
UK Albums Chart[61] 14
US Billboard 200[62] 8
US Billboard Rock Albums[63] 1
US Billboard Alternative Albums[64] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Ireland (IRMA)[65] Gold 7,500^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[66] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[67] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[68] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]


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External links[edit]