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Served Three Ways: Three Covers of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps”

It’s hard to believe that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ debut album was released nearly 9 years ago (in April 2003). Although it’s a remarkably solid debut from start to finish, “Maps” is a notable standout demonstrating a strong (and relatively surprising) emotional foundation compared to the tracks which make up much of the rest of the album. Since it’s initial release, Karen O has confessed that the track was written about her then beau (Liars’ Angus Andrew). In fact, in the songs official music video, O appears distraught and even sheds a few tears. She later stated in interview that the tears were real and were shed because she became worked up when Angus showed up three hours late to the video shoot for the song (which, again, was written about him). It’s been covered by many of the YYYs’ contemporaries including The White Stripes (although I’ve never heard a decent recording of this one), The Arcade Fire, Rogue Wave, and as part of a medley by Ted Leo.

Arcade Fire – Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)
Rogue Wave – Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)
Ted Leo – Since You Been Gone / Maps (Kelly Clarkson / Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)

By now you know the drill: so, which one is your favorite?

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • Fillyfilm

    One of my favorite songs, awesome drum beat, alot of cool emotion. The acoustic version by the yeah yeah yeahs is pretty great too. Good choice!

  • Thanks Fillyfilm! I’ve always loved this song/abum.

  • Brian

    I was hoping you’d slip the Ted Leo “cover” in there. It’s hilarious.

    last week I was digging around on YouTube looking for Yeah Yeah Yeahs late night performances. It’s annoying how artists like the YYYs can pull themselves onto the national stage, and before they can take root in the larger pop-culture, labels can swoop in with a GaGa and capitalize on changing tastes with watered down versions of the real deal.

    Anyway, Maps is a damn fine song; Thanks for posting!

  • Sonia Lala

    First off, I like the way you write. Second, gosh, I love this song. None of the covers come even close to the original. The YYY really need to come out with a new album soon.

  • Anna

    This is rad! Thanks for posting!

  • Megan

    Have always loved the Rogue Wave cover! Thanks for reminding me about this song!

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