A Lesson in Romantics is the debut studio album by American rock band Mayday Parade. The band resulted from the merger of Kid Named Chicago and Defining Moment. In June 2006 the band released an EP, Tales Told by Dead Friends, which they sold to people by following the 2006 edition of Warped Tour and offering copies; it eventually sold 10,000 copies. The band signed to Fearless Records in August. A Lesson in Romantics was recorded in early 2007 with producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount. Vocalist/guitarist Jason Lancaster left the band in March 2007 citing a lack of writing credit on the band's releases. Prior to the release of A Lesson in Romantics, "Black Cat", "When I Get Home, You're So Dead", and "Jamie All Over" were made available for streaming. After the album's release, the band participated in the 2007 edition of Warped Tour.
A Lesson in Romantics was released through Fearless in July. A music video for "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" was released in November, and the song was released as a single a month later. "Jamie All Over" was released as a single in May 2008 and a music video for the song was released two months later. The band then toured as part of the 2008 edition of Warped Tour. The music video for "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" earned two MTV Video Music Awards nominations in 2008. In January 2009 a music video was released for "Miserable at Best". A Lesson in Romantics is the band's most commercially successful release, selling over 200,000 copies. It was released on vinyl in November 2011. The album was featured on Rock Sound's 2014 list - The 51 Most Essential Pop Punk Albums of All Time.
Mayday Parade was formed in the winter of 2005 following the merger of two local Tallahassee bands, Kid Named Chicago and Defining Moment. Kid Named Chicago featured vocalist/guitarist Jason Lancaster, guitarist Alex Garcia and drummer Jake Bundrick, while Defining Moment featured vocalist Derek Sanders, guitarist Brooks Betts, and bassist Jeremy Lenzo. In June 2006, their EP Tales Told by Dead Friends was released. The band followed the 2006 edition of Warped Tour, selling copies of the EP to people in line. By the end of summer, the group had sold 10,000 copies of the EP. These sales caught the attention of Fearless Records, which signed Mayday Parade on August 29. Fearless label president Bob Becker said the group: "were really believable, they were obviously good musicians, and they were really tight sounding. And we already knew they were hard-working." Between late September and early November, the band went on the Text on the Dance Floor tour with Mêlée, Wheatus, Brandtson, Lakes, and Fall of Transition. Tales Told by Dead Friends was re-released through Fearless on November 7.
All of the songs on A Lesson in Romantics were written while touring after Warped Tour. The songs are about: "being in a relationship while you're on the road, and the different hardships that come with that." Unlike the band's EP, the album was "more put together" and "more organized", according to Garcia. Sanders thought it stood up "pretty well" to the EP, noting that it was "just as catchy ", but "more powerful." "Jamie All Over" was originally recorded by Kid Named Chicago, Lancaster's previous band. Sanders claimed the song was "kind of a tough one to choose" because the band had a lot of new material to choose from, but felt "pretty happy" with its inclusion. "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" was one of the first songs the band wrote. According to Garcia, the final track was called "You Be the Anchor That Keeps My Feet on the Ground, I'll Be the Wings That Keep Your Heart in the Clouds" because the band was "trying to be poetic".
Mayday Parade went into the studio in January 2007. Recording took place at Tree Sound, located in Atlanta, Georgia. The band worked with producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, who also engineered the sessions. "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" from Tales Told by Dead Friends was re-recorded because the song had previously received a big response from fans. Natalie VanLandingham provided additional vocals on "Jersey", while Daniel Lancaster provided additional vocals on "Jamie All Over". Mixing was done by Mark Needham, while Steve Hall mastered the album at Future Disc, located in McMinnville, Oregon.
Lancaster left the band in March 2007 citing a lack of writing credit on the band's releases. Lenzo and Bundrick filled in for Lancaster's vocals, while Garcia and Betts performed Lancaster's guitar parts. Garcia said this change made the guitars "sound more clear" and not "clutter[ed]"; on the other hand, the group found it hard working out who should sing Lancaster's parts. Lancaster's departure hurt Sanders personally as "he was a good friend". Later that month, the band supported Plain White T's on their U.S. tour. On April 4, "Black Cat" was made available for streaming via Hot Topic's Myspace profile. On April 13, the release of A Lesson in Romantics was announced. Between early May and late June, the band went on tour with support from Bedlight for Blue Eyes, Driver Side Impact, and Sick City. The track listing was revealed on May 18. On June 6, the band made "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" available for streaming via their Myspace profile. "Jamie All Over" was made available for streaming on June 19 via AbsolutePunk.
A Lesson in Romantics was released on July 10 through Fearless Records. Mayday Parade appeared at Dirt Fest in Birch Run, Michigan, before touring as part of the 2007 edition of Warped Tour from mid July to early August. In August, the band went on tour with Olympia and Sound the Alarm. The music video for "When I Get Home, You're So Dead", directed by Marco de la Torre, was filmed in September. In late September 2007, the band supported Paramore in Japan and Australia. The band went on a co-headlining tour with Madina Lake in October and November. The "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" music video was released on November 14, and the single was released on December 3. The band went on the Manwhores and Open Sores Tour alongside All Time Low, Every Avenue, and Just Surrender in January 2008. In April and May, the band went on the Explosions In Your Pants Tour with support from My American Heart and the Graduate. A music video was filmed for "Jamie All Over" in May, and the single was released on May 20.
Mayday Parade went on the 2008 edition of Warped Tour, playing all summer-long for the first time. Sanders explained that the group "finally felt like one of the real bands" on Warped Tour; they "had a bus for the first time this year". Following this, Independent Label Group, who help promote and market Fearless releases, persuaded Target Corporation to sell A Lesson in Romantics in its stores. The video for "Jamie All Over" was released through MTV on July 21. The song was released to radio on September 2. In October and November, the band supported All Time Low on the Compromising of Integrity, Morality, & Principles in Exchange for Money tour. A music video for "Miserable at Best", directed by Mark Staubach, was released on January 9, 2009 on the band's Myspace. On November 21, 2011, the album was released on vinyl with a different colored cover. A white vinyl edition was released a year later, on August 28, 2012.
A Lesson in Romantics is considered a fan favorite. Daniel Thompson of Music Emissions wrote that: "every song is spectacular on this album and is a potential hit." Despite its eventual success and acclaim, A Lesson In Romantics received little attention from professional music critics. Reviewers noted the improved sound from the band's debut EP, Tales Told by Dead Friends. Joe DeAndrea from AbsolutePunk.net wrote that: "after their unimpressive release of the EP Tales Told By Dead Friends in November, the band's back with their debut album that will surely become one of your most played of the Summer." Sputnikmusic reviewer Adam Knott gave the album a score of 4.5 out of 5, calling it "a hell of a lot better" than most pop punk records.
A Lesson in Romantics debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, staying on the chart for six weeks. The album finally dropped off on the chart dated March 1, 2008 before eventually returning on the chart on July 12. It stayed on the chart for 70 consecutive weeks. The album also charted on the Independent Albums chart, peaking at number 31. In January 2009, it was announced that the album had sold over 100,000 copies. The album would later become the band's biggest selling album, selling over 200,000 copies. "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" was ranked at number 194 on the New York Post's 2007 list of best songs to download. In 2008, the music video for "When I Get Home, You're So Dead" was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rock Video and Video of the Year. The album was number 42 on Rock Sound's The 51 Most Essential Pop Punk Albums of All Time list.
On January 27, 2017, a new music video was released for "Black Cat", directed by Max Moore. A 10th anniversary edition of the album featuring demos and an unreleased song is set to be released on March 17. To celebrate the album's 10th anniversary, the band will perform the album in full on tour between March and May.
All tracks written by Mayday Parade.Bonus tracks
Personnel per 2008 reissue booklet.