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"Gold Lion" is the first single by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs from their second album, Show Your Bones. Distinct in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' discography, it features acoustic guitar and a more slowed-down pace in contrast to former works like "Bang!" and "Date with the Night". It was released on March 21, 2006, and became the band's second major hit after 2004's "Maps".

"Gold Lion"
Single by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
from the album Show Your Bones
ReleasedMarch 21, 2006
FormatCD, 7"
GenreIndie rock, alternative rock
Songwriter(s)Brian Chase, Karen Lee Orzolek, Nick Zinner
Producer(s)David Andrew Sitek
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singles chronology
"Y Control"
"Gold Lion"
"Turn Into"

"Gold Lion" was named after the two Gold Lion awards won by the Adidas commercial Hello Tomorrow at the 2005 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Karen O had contributed vocals to ad's song composed by Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel, brother of Karen's then-boyfriend Spike Jonze who had directed the ad.

In popular cultureEdit

"Gold Lion" was featured in the 2006 edition of the NME Essential Bands compilation album. It was also featured in a 2007 advertisement spot for Yves Saint Laurent's "Elle" perfume. The ad, directed by Michael Haussman, features Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha. Additionally, the song was featured in the Grey's Anatomy episode 17 Seconds. The song was also featured in the trailer for the second season of the hit BBC America show, Orphan Black.

It has been noted by some music critics that "Gold Lion" sounds similar to "No New Tale To Tell" from 1980s alternative band Love and Rockets.[1][2]

In 2010 the instrumentals of the song were used in a commercial for Apple Inc.'s iPad device.[3]

In 2019 The Accidentals included a cover of the song on their album Live.[4]

Track listingEdit

  1. "Gold Lion" – 3:09
  2. "Let Me Know" (Demo) – 3:31
  3. "Gold Lion" (Diplo's Optimo remix) – 4:04
  4. "Gold Lion" (Nick Zinner remix) – 3:14

Music videoEdit

The music video directed by Patrick Daughters features the band playing in the Nevada desert at sunset and eventually night. At first we see Brian holding a large pile of drumsticks with more tied to his back. Then, Nick is seen walking dragging a number of acoustic guitars behind him. Brian then sits at his drumkit with the pile of drumsticks. As he begins to play Brian's drumkit shoots out flames from his snare drum, which sets his drumstick alight and the ground around him as he continues to play. He then throws the stick on a pile of other drumsticks starting another fire. The rest of the band are seen performing, however they are all covered in sand and dust. At the pre-chorus Nick smashes his guitar on the ground, at the same time Karen wipes the dust off her face and takes off her sooty clothes to reveal her 'shiny' dress. Nick then plays the lead part on his electric guitar, the smashed guitar then sets on fire adding to the flames. The band continues playing in the same fashion with Nick smashing another acoustic guitar. The fire builds and the flames create a circle divided into 6ths surrounding the band. The video concludes with the band performing while surrounded by flames.


Year Chart Position
2006 Modern Rock 14
2006 The Billboard Hot 100 88
2006 Official UK Charts 18
2006 Triple J Hottest 100 2006 24
2006 Irish Singles Chart 37


  1. ^ Phares, Heather (March 28, 2006). "allmusic (((Show Your Bones > Overview)))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
  2. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (June 16, 2006). "Did The Red Hot Chili Peppers copy Tom Petty?" (883). Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  3. ^ "Chrysalis cashes in from Apple's choice of advert song". Evening Standard. 2010. Retrieved 2019-06-12. The use of songs from its catalogue included Rapture by Blondie in the film Sex and the City 2, as well as Gold Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the Apple iPad commercial
  4. ^ Boldrey, Ryan (26 April 2019). "The Accidentals get funky, frisky, grateful and personal in album-release show". Retrieved 2019-06-12. The band opened the show with a rendition of The Yeah Yeah Yeah's 'Gold Lion', one of three covers that shows up on the album

External linksEdit