Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs song)

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Maps (song) cover.jpg
Single by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
from the album Fever to Tell
ReleasedSeptember 22, 2003 (2003-09-22)[1]
Producer(s)David Andrew Sitek
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singles chronology
"Y Control"
Audio sample
Music video
"Maps" on YouTube

"Maps" is a song by American indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs from their debut full-length album, Fever to Tell (2003). The song is about the relationship between Liars frontman Angus Andrew and Yeah Yeah Yeahs lead singer Karen O.[6] It was released 2003, and the band performed the song at that year's MTV Movie Awards.[7] The music video received extensive play on MTV. It reached number nine on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and was included in the popular video game Rock Band.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
2."Countdown" 3:39
3."Miles Away" (John Peel Session Originally from the band's debut EP) 2:30

Music video[edit]

The video shows the band playing in an audition in a high school gymnasium, with different light filters changing the color of the room. Karen O's crying in the video was not staged. She explains: "They were real tears. My boyfriend at the time (Angus Andrew) was supposed to come to the shoot – he was three hours late and I was just about to leave for tour. I didn't think he was even going to come and this was the song that was written for him. He eventually showed up and I got myself in a real emotional state."[8] Some have suggested the song title stands for “My Angus Please Stay,” though this was never confirmed by the band.[9][10] The video received substantial play on MTV.[11] The video was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards at the 2004 ceremony: Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and the MTV2 Award.[12] It was directed by Patrick Daughters.

Notable cover versions[edit]

Critical reception and legacy[edit]

"Maps" has received vast critical acclaim. Some examples:

  • In 2009, it was voted the best alternative love song of all time by NME.[22]
  • The song was also listed at number six on Pitchfork Media's top 500 songs of the 2000s.[23]
  • Rolling Stone ranked "Maps" as the 7th best song of the 2000s.[24]
  • On April 7, 2011, Rolling Stone ranked "Maps" number 386 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[25] Its 2021 list placed it at number 101.[26]
  • In October 2011, NME placed it at number 55 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[27]
  • NME ranked "Maps" at number 1 on their list of "Indie Weddings Songs: 20 Tracks Perfect For Your First Dance."[28]

"Maps" served as an inspiration for Kelly Clarkson's 2004 hit song "Since U Been Gone," which was written and produced by Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald.[29] In an interview with Billboard, Dr. Luke said:

That was a conscious move by Max and myself, because we were listening to alternative and indie music ... I said, "Ah, I love this song,' and Max was like, 'If they would just write a damn pop chorus on it!' It was driving him nuts, because that indie song was sort of on six, going to seven, going to eight, the chorus comes ... and it goes back down to five. It drove him crazy. And when he said that, it was like, light bulb. 'Why don't we do that, but put a big chorus on it?" It worked.[30]

"Maps" and "Since U Been Gone" share similar introductions, post-chorus guitar breaks, middle eights, and are both in the key of G major.[31] Karen O said noticing the similarity was "like getting bitten by a poisonous varmint."[32]

"Hold Up," a song recorded by Beyoncé for her 2016 album, Lemonade, contains an interpolation of the "Maps" lyric, "Wait, they don't love you like I love you." Beyoncé sings the line as "Hold up, they don't love you like I love you," which was based on a 2011 tweet from Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig paraphrasing "Maps." Koenig and Diplo recorded a demo version of "Hold Up" in 2014 including the interpolated line, and when Beyoncé released the song on Lemonade, the three members of Yeah Yeah Yeahs shared in the songwriting credits.[33]


Chart (2003–2004) Peak
Scotland (OCC)[34] 35
UK Singles (OCC)[35] 26
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 87
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[37] 9


  1. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. September 20, 2003. p. 31.
  2. ^ Rich, Nathaniel (October 2015). "The Elaborate Charade to Obfuscate Who Writes Pop Music". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  3. ^ "Top 150 Songs of the 2010s". Treble. January 6, 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  4. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: 386 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps". Rolling Stone. April 7, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Rolling Stone Staff (June 17, 2011). "100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 4, 2022. How often do we get a fiery soul ballad and an art-punk classic in the same song?
  6. ^ Sheffield, Rob (April 7, 2006). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Goth, Nerd, Slut". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2007.
  7. ^ "How The Yeah Yeahs' 'Maps' Helped Change the Way We View the Relationship Between Pop and Indie". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Karen O's Video Crying Was For Real". July 12, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  9. ^ Feldman, Brian. "mysteries of the Scatman". Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  10. ^ How Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps" Transcended the Post-Punk Revival, archived from the original on December 22, 2021, retrieved February 25, 2020, minute 4:32
  11. ^ Endelman, Michael. "Yeah Yeah Yeahs explain their disturbing new video". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "2004 VMA Winners". MTV. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  13. ^ "ARCHIVES // SEPTEMBER 2004: 08.29.04 // THE READING FESTIVAL". August 29, 2004. Retrieved November 19, 2007. A stellar set was played with the addition of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's tune, Maps.
  14. ^ "Arcade Fire Cover Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs". BrooklynVegan. September 9, 2005. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
  15. ^ "Served Three Ways: Three Covers of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Maps". Turntable Kitchen.
  16. ^ triple j (September 22, 2016), Camp Cope cover Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'Maps' for triple j's Like A Version, archived from the original on December 22, 2021, retrieved July 31, 2018
  17. ^ Stelios Ramon (April 11, 2014). "Anderson .Paak - Maps". Archived from the original on December 22, 2021 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "Cover Art, by Anderson .Paak". Anderson .Paak.
  19. ^ "Keaton Henson - The Lucky EP Lyrics and Tracklist". Genius.
  20. ^ "Track Of The Day 22/8 - Freya Ridings". Clash. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  21. ^ "Maps – Single by Freya Ridings". Apple Music. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "Greatest Alternative Love Songs". NME. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  23. ^ Harvell, Jess. "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  25. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 7, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  26. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 15, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  27. ^ Schiller, Rebecca (October 6, 2011). "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". NME.
  28. ^ "Indie Weddings Songs: 20 Tracks Perfect For Your First Dance". NME. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  29. ^ Needham, Alex (November 4, 2015). "John Seabrook on The Song Machine: 'There's a dark side to pop'". The Guardian. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  30. ^ Willman, Chris (September 3, 2010). "Dr. Luke: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. The Prometheus Global. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  31. ^ "All Mapped Out". Popbitch. August 14, 2016. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  32. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Taking Their Glorious Freak Rock Global". Rolling Stone. April 20, 2006. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  33. ^ "Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Explains How His Tweet About the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Became a Beyoncé Song". Pitchfork. April 25, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  34. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  35. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  36. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  37. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved September 25, 2015.

External links[edit]