Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Anthem Won't Explain It

Six years ago this week My Chemical Romance's 'Welcome To The Black Parade' took its place as one of the most absurd UK Number One singles of all time.

It's not often that such ludicrous bombast reaches the top of the chart, never mind from a band with only three minor Top 40 hits to their name*, and so looking at it now it seems even more anomalous than it did at the time. Obviously it had context then, representing the peak of the mainstream success of the dreaded emo cult, but it was still a rather odd thing to happen.

It's a good job it did happen. Emo's time as A Thing ended up being very brief; while My Chemical Romance did very well out of it, they didn't have nearly as much success when they returned in 2010. It's a perfect example of a Number One single as a time capsule - if it hadn't have been such a hit, what would be the reference point for emo when Jack Whitehall eventually does some Channel 4 programme feigning nostalgia for things that happened in 2006?

This has all been a load of waffle about nothing, hasn't it. Anyway, it needed ('needed') to be noted that 'Welcome To The Black Parade' is one of the most surreal and best Number One singles ever and if you feel otherwise then you're basically wrong. It's embedded below for proof. You could call it a 'Bohemian Rhapsody' for the MySpace generation*, if that were to mean anything.

Other vital information: 'Welcome To The Black Parade' actually managed to last a fortnight at Number One, selling 33,883 in its first week and 29,201 in the second, figures that would only have scraped a Top Ten place this week.

Also in the Top 10 in the first week were Razorlight, Scissor Sisters and Beatfreakz, appearing with their second single. Second single. The past really is a foreign country, of which Lil' Chris, who was at Number 6, is probably a Junior Minister.

*See? It almost ties together now if you squint.

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