A&E (song)

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Single by Goldfrapp
from the album Seventh Tree
Released 11 February 2008 (2008-02-11)
Format CD single, Digital download, 7" picture single
Recorded 2006–2007
Genre Folktronica, dream pop, electropop
Length 3:19
Label Mute
Songwriter(s) Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory
Producer(s) Goldfrapp, Gregory
Goldfrapp singles chronology
"Satin Boys, Flaming Chic"
"Satin Boys, Flaming Chic"
Alternative cover
CD single #2
CD single #2

"A&E" (short for "Accident and Emergency", the term used in the UK for the emergency department of a hospital) is a song performed by British duo Goldfrapp. The song was written and produced by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory for the duo's fourth album Seventh Tree (2008). It was released as the album's first single on 11 February 2008.[1]

Background and writing[edit]

"A&E" was composed as a collaborative effort between Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory in 2007 in a recording studio near Somerset, England.[2] Its lyrics were inspired by Goldfrapp's visit to the emergency department of a hospital on a Saturday afternoon. The doctors "pumped [her] up with loads of painkillers" and she described the situation as a "bit surreal." According to Goldfrapp, the song is a metaphor for a horrible relationship.[3] The track describes Goldfrapp reflecting on a bad situation which resulted in an "accident and emergency." (A&E) The situation made her "feel blue" and at the end of the song she concludes that finally "the pain has started to slip away" even though she admits there might be "pills at work."[4] The Lyrical reference to a "backless Dress" is not some fancy evening wear but is a description of standard hospital gown or pajamas given to all hospital patients which fastens at the back for easy removal from a sleeping or otherwise imobile person by nurses or theatre staff.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "A&E" was directed by Dougal Wilson.[5] In sharp contrast to the song's hospital themes, the video uses a nature theme. The video features Alison Goldfrapp in a forest wearing a white dress. It begins with Goldfrapp lying in a clearing, looking up at the camera. She is soon joined by several leaf-men who dance around her as she sings. Midway through the video, day turns into night and Goldfrapp is joined by several woodland creatures. The video concludes with Will Gregory playing a guitar and making tea beside an orange tent.

The video premiered on 12 January 2008 on Channel 4 in the UK.[6] In a review for Drowned in Sound, Alex Denney described the video as "weird" and compared it to music videos by Kate Bush and The Mighty Boosh.[7] Pitchfork Media reviewer Marc Hogan wrote that the video was a "good fit for Goldfrapp's bright, folksy turn" and praised its "twist ending."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

"A&E" received positive reviews from music critics. John Murphy in a review for MusicOMH.com called the song "a beautifully paced ballad, with a memorable hook...which buries its way into your head after just a couple of listens".[8] Digital Spy reviewer Nick Levine described "A&E" as "lush, folky and organic" and wrote that Alison Goldfrapp's vocals were "full of longing and slow-burning sexuality". Popjustice described the song as "brilliant".[9][10] Alex Denney of Drowned in Sound was less impressed, writing that "the sparks...fail to fly".[7]

The song appeared at number 73 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Best Tracks of 2008 list.[11]

Chart performance[edit]

"A&E" entered the UK Singles Chart on 12 February 2008 at number eighteen.[12] The following week the song reached its peak position at number ten[13] and spent eight weeks on the UK Top 75. The single sold 66,250 copies in the UK during 2008, finishing the year as the 157th best-selling single in the UK. Outside of the UK, the song was not especially successful but did chart. It reached number thirty-three in Ireland and became Goldfrapp's fourth top fifty single on the singles chart.[13] In Germany, the song became Goldfrapp's second single to chart where it reached number ninety-eight.[13]

The track reached number sixty-five on the Eurochart Hot 100.[14] It also reached number twelve on the Euro Digital Tracks chart and number fourteen on the Digital Songs chart.[15][16] In the United States, "A&E" reached number one in the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales chart and number two on Hot Singles Sales chart.[17][18]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "A&E".


The following people contributed to "A&E":[19]


Chart (2008) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[13] 85
Belgian Singles Chart[13] 38
Euro Digital Songs[16] 14
Euro Digital Tracks[15] 12
European Singles Chart[14] 65
German Singles Chart[13] 98
Irish Singles Chart[13] 33
UK Singles Chart[13] 10
U.S Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[20] 22
U.S Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales[17] 1
U.S Billboard Hot Singles Sales[18] 2

End of year[edit]

Country (2008) Position (Year End Singles Chart)
United Kingdom 157[21]


  1. ^ "Goldfrapp Seventh Tree (Mute)". Music Week. 5 November 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
  2. ^ Kleinfeld, Justin. "Countryside Manner". Remix Magazine. 1 February 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  3. ^ Cosyns, Simon. "Sandals may be way forward". The Sun. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  4. ^ Timmermans, Arjan. "Goldfrapp's New Single "A&E" + Remixes ". ArjanWrites.com. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  5. ^ a b Marc Hogan. "Video: Goldfrapp: "A & E"". Pitchfork Media. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Goldfrapp – AandE, Seventh Tree". Berlinista.com. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  7. ^ a b Denney, Alex. "Reviews – Single – Goldfrapp". Drowned in Sound. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  8. ^ John Murphy. "Goldfrapp – A&E (Mute)" Archived 20 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. MusicOMH.com. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  9. ^ "Popjustice – Goldfrapp – 'A&E'". Popjustice.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  10. ^ Nick Levine. "Goldfrapp: 'A&E'" Archived 20 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Digital Spy. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  11. ^ Mike Orme (15 December 2008). "The 100 Best Tracks of 2008". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "UK Singles Top 75 (Tuesday 12 February 2008)". aCharts.us. Retrieved 1 March 2008.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "A&E World Chart Positions". aCharts.us. Retrieved 1 March 2008.
  14. ^ a b "European Hot 100 Singles (Week of 23 February 2008)". Billboard.com. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  15. ^ a b "Euro Digital Tracks (Week of 23 February 2008)". Billboard.com. Retrieved 1 March 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Euro Digital Songs (Week of 23 February 2008)". Billboard.com. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  17. ^ a b "Hot Dance Singles Sales". Billboard.com. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Hot Singles Sales (Week of 1 March 2008)". Billboard.com. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  19. ^ Seventh Tree (CD liner notes). Mute Records. February 2008.
  20. ^ Billboard.BIZ Archived 24 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "UK Charts" (PDF). ukchartsplus. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 

External links[edit]