This 29-second track opens New Jersey rock band My Chemical Romance's fourth album, Danger Days: True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. Frontman Gerard Way told Billboard magazine: "Danger Days kicks off with 'Look Alive, Sunshine,' and I really like to think of the song as contributing to the idea of the album as this really crazy ride - like someone holding your hand on the way up the roller coaster, and then at the top he sort of lets go and he checks in on you from here."
The song was inspired by Anthony Burgess's 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Way explained to Billboard magazine: "'Look Alive, Sunshine' is heavily inspired by the language of A Clockwork Orange. I wanted all these phrases that you didn't know what they meant but you got a sense off of just what the phrase was that you could guess what it means. I think it's a good kind of introduction into Danger Days."
"Cleveland Rocks" was written by an Englishman. Ian Hunter wrote the song after touring America in the late '70s and finding that Cleveland was by far the most receptive city to his brand of Glam Rock.