Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

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Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Studio album by My Chemical Romance
Released June 8, 2004 (2004-06-08)
Recorded October 2003 – January 2004
Studio Bay 7 Studios, Valley Village / Sparky Dark Studio, Calabasas, California
Length 39:36
Label Reprise
Producer Howard Benson
My Chemical Romance chronology
I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Warped Tour Bootleg Series
Singles from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
  1. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
    Released: September 13, 2004
  2. "Thank You for the Venom"
    Released: December 13, 2004 (UK)
  3. "Helena"
    Released: May 23, 2005
  4. "The Ghost of You"
    Released: August 29, 2005

Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge is the second studio album by American rock band My Chemical Romance, released on June 8, 2004.[9] It is My Chemical Romance's first release through Reprise.[10] Their first and previous album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, was released through Eyeball Records.[11][12] It is the band's final release to feature drummer Matt Pelissier, who would later be replaced by Bob Bryar.[13] The album was certified platinum in less than a year from its release.[10] The album has sold over one million copies in the United States.[12]

In Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, My Chemical Romance produced a cleaner sound than that of what they produced in I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.[14] The album was a success for both the band and the label,[12] although it did meet with mixed reception.[15] The album lifted the popularity for My Chemical Romance more than I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love had.[14] Gerard Way has described the album as a "pseudo-conceptual horror story".[14] The album's concept is described as "A story of a man, a woman, and the corpses of 1000 evil men" on the back cover of the album. Way has stated that "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 he can be with her again if he brings the devil the souls of a thousand evil men and the man agrees to do it, and so the devil hands him a gun. 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."[16]

The four released singles from the record included "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)", "Helena", "The Ghost of You", and in the United Kingdom, "Thank You for the Venom". The non-single tracks on the album have been praised as some of the album's "bests" as well, such as "Hang 'Em High" and "The Jetset Life is Gonna Kill You".[14]

Gerard Way, the lead singer of the band, drew the album's cover artwork himself.[17]


While I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was considered "a particularly strident entry in that shifty genre of bands tortuously slamming together elements of emo, hardcore, and even metal",[18] Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge "both showcased their songwriting skills and gave them much-deserved attention".[2] Moving away from the "screamo parts"[19] and "the more complicated structures"[20] of their first record in favor of a sound that "skirts the line between pop punk and edgy, theatrical, emo"[2] while being "strongly influenced by hardcore punk".[20] Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has been variously compared to The Misfits,[21] AFI,[18] and Thursday.[18]

Lead singer Gerard Way has referred to the first single "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" as a "self help pop song"[22] while also being called "a surging piece of emo-pop with a hook as ridiculously catchy as it was ridiculous"[23] and a "moving anthem for the young and depressed"[24] by Allmusic and Rolling Stone respectively. This single went on to be nominated for the Kerrang! award for best single[25] and reached #86 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[26]

Album opener "Helena" has been referred to as an "album highlight and smash hit". Gerard has claimed that the song "shaped what the album is about" and "revealed their darkside" in comparison to the first single.[22] Its lyrics mourn the loss of Gerard and Mikey's grandmother,[22] Elena Lee Rush, and was their first entry into the top 40.[26]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[27]
Alternative Press 4.5/5 stars[2]
Common Sense Media 3/5 stars[28]
IGN 7.1/10[29]
Kludge 7/10[30]
Melodic 4/5 stars[31]
Robert Christgau (dud)[32]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[33]
Stylus B[34]

Johnny Loftus of AllMusic wrote that "with the aid of production major-leaguer Howard Benson, they've edited the slight rookie excesses of I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love, resulting in a rewarding, pretty damn relentless product." The album was awarded 4 out of 5 stars by Loftus.[27] Andy Greenwald of Blender thought that "Way’s gulping, gasping whine turns stompers like "I’m Not Okay (I Promise)" into after-school poetry". Greenwald praised the fact that Way integrated elements of his life into the songs on the album. He awarded the album 3 out of 5 stars.[35] JR of IGN wrote that it was "a good album" but "isn't nearly as varied or daring as it could have been". He ranked the episode 7.1 out of 10.[29] Kirk Miller of Rolling Stone said that "Revenge is a hell of a good time."[33] Ian Mathers of Stylus Magazine wrote, that this album contained "twelve near-flawless songs and an interlude in thirty-nine minutes" and that "even when it lets up, [it] doesn’t let up".[34] Robert Christgau declared Three Cheers a dud.[32] Common Sense Media has called most of the songs "Bonny and Clyde" themed and awarded it 3 out of 5 stars. Common Sense Media also placed their age rating for the album at 14 years old and suggested that parents should talk to their children about the meanings of songs contained within the album.[28]


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Rock Sound UK Top 50 Albums of the Year 2004 5[36]
Spin US The 40 Best Albums of 2004 34[37]
Kerrang! UK Kerrang! Albums Of The Year 3[38]
Metal Hammer UK Metal Hammer Albums Of 2004 7[39]


NME listed the album as one of "20 Emo Albums That Have Resolutely Stood The Test Of Time".[40] The album was ranked at number 260 on Spin's "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985–2014)" list.[41] Rock Sound wrote that the album is "an era-defining release", striking " a nerve both musically and emotionally with millions around the world."[42]

In 2016 Rolling Stone declared Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge the tenth greatest Emo Album out of 40, saying that "Three Cheers wasn't just a concept record, it was a concept sequel, expanding the small-screen story of 2002's I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love into a big-budget production, complete with ruminations on life and death ("Helena") biting kiss-offs ("I'm Not Okay") and a series of dramatic music videos that made them MTV darlings."[4]

Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has sold over one million copies to date in the United States and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.[43] By February 2006, the album had sold over 1,356,000 copies in the U.S.[44] It has also been certified Double Platinum in Canada, Platinum in the UK and Gold in Ireland, Chile[45] and Argentina.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by My Chemical Romance.

No. Title Length
1. "Helena"   3:22
2. "Give 'Em Hell, Kid"   2:18
3. "To the End"   3:01
4. "You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison"   2:53
5. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"   3:08
6. "The Ghost of You"   3:22
7. "The Jetset Life Is Gonna Kill You"   3:37
8. "Interlude"   0:57
9. "Thank You for the Venom"   3:41
10. "Hang 'Em High"   2:47
11. "It's Not A Fashion Statement, It's a Deathwish"   3:30
12. "Cemetery Drive"   3:08
13. "I Never Told You What I Do for a Living"   3:51
Total length: 39:36
Additional tracks



  • Howard Benson – producer, mixing
  • Rich Costey – mixing
  • Craig Aaronson – A&R
  • Brian Schechter – management
  • Stacy Fass – legal
  • Matt Galle – booking
  • Mike Plotnikoff – recording
  • Eric J. Miller – additional engineering
  • Paul Decarli – Pro Tools and programming
  • Jon Nicholson – drum tech
  • Keith Nelson – guitar tech
  • Howard Benson – 1958 Hammond B3
  • Tom Baker – mastering
  • Matt Griffen – production coordinator
  • Dana Childs – production coordinator
  • Runners: Arturo Rojas – runner
  • Fernando Diaz – runner
  • Mike Gardner – runner
  • Chris Ozuna – runner
  • Bryan Mansell – runner
  • Mark Holley – design assistance

Chart positions[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[51] Gold 30,000*
Australia (ARIA)[52] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[53] Platinum 100,000^
Chile[45] Gold 7,500
Ireland (IRMA)[54] Gold 7,500^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[55] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[56] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[58] Platinum 1,000,000^

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
Australia April 11, 2005 Reprise CD 9362486152
Japan July 22, 2004 WPCR11890
January 26, 2005 CD+DVD WPZR30075
June 24, 2009 CD WPCR13504
United Kingdom September 3, 2004 9362486152
United States June 8, 2004 486152
December 16, 2008 Vinyl LP 148615




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  43. ^ RIAA certifications for My Chemical Romance
  44. ^ Kohli, Rohan (February 15, 2006). "Soundscan Results: Week Ending 2/12/06". Retrieved February 12, 2016. 
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  56. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Albums". Radioscope. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. 
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  • Bird, Ryan, ed. (June 2015). "The 200 Moments that Defined Our Lifetime". Rock Sound. London: Freeway Press Inc. (200). ISSN 1465-0185. 

External links[edit]