Saturday, June 18, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
Panic! at the Disco started as a Blink-182 cover band dreamed up by a group of local high school friends. In fact, the band never played a live show until after they were signed to a label.
Seven years later, Panic! has sold more than 2 million albums, and its members have become bona fide stars.
In finding success, the band experienced the predictable growing pains of fame — losing members, lukewarm reviews — but emerged with a new album that’s receiving critical acclaim.
Here’s a primer, for both fans and new listeners, of a few of Panic!’s most notable songs:
"I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
The band’s 2006 single, the first to have a video, proved to be its biggest hit. The song helped boost sales of the band’s debut album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” and propelled it to platinum status. The song reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, making it the band’s only top 40 hit in America. It ranked even higher on Billboard pop, mainstream and ring tone hit lists.
“I Write Sins Not Tragedies” was nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards. It won one: Video of the Year. Watch a YouTube video of the song here.
"Nine in the Afternoon"
The first single of Panic!’s second album, “Pretty. Odd.,” reflected a new sound for the group. Leaving its more emo punk roots, the band drew inspiration for “Nine in the Afternoon” from classic artists such as the Beatles, Beach Boys and Kinks. Much of the song’s video pays homage to the Beatles.
The song reached No. 44 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008 and was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards. It is also featured in several video games, including Rock Band 2 and Just Dance 2. Watch a YouTube video here.
Released in 2009, “New Perspective” is the first song the band recorded without original members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker. Ross and Walker announced in July 2009 that they planned to leave the band to pursue their own music.
Lead singer Brendon Urie said he wrote the song two years earlier after waking up from a dream. “New Perspective” was featured in the movie “Jennifer’s Body.” Watch a YouTube video here.
"The Ballad of Mona Lisa"
The first single of the band’s newest album, “Vices & Virtues,” the song was released in March to positive reviews. Urie wrote it about four years ago before the release of “Pretty. Odd.” He said it was inspired by his move from Las Vegas to Santa Monica, Calif.
“On the surface it can seem like just the story of drama between a guy and a girl,” Urie explained. “But it’s really about what I’ve been going through, an inner struggle within myself and fighting the dualities of my personality — the side that (messes) everything up and destroys everything, and the other side that tries to pick up the slack. It’s all growing pains.” Watch a YouTube video here.