A Letter to Elise

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"A Letter to Elise"
A Letter to Elise (The Cure album - cover art).jpg
Single by The Cure
from the album Wish
Released 5 October 1992
Format 7", 12"
Length 4:20
Label Fiction
The Cure singles chronology
"Friday I'm in Love"
"A Letter to Elise"
"The 13th"

"A Letter to Elise" is a song by English rock band The Cure, released as the third and final single from the album Wish in October 1992.

In 2010, Pitchfork Media ranked it at number 184 in their list of "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s".[1]


"A Letter to Elise" was made public for the first time on MTV's Cure-"Unplugged" show in 1991 and had very different lyrics from the later version to be released as a 7".[citation needed] Letters to Felice by Kafka was a huge influence when Robert Smith wrote the lyrics of the track.[citation needed]

The B-side "The Big Hand" was planned as an A-side single early in 1993 but the idea was scrapped, largely due to Boris Williams not wanting the track to appear on the album but having no qualms about it appearing as a B-side (from KROQ radio interview with the band in 1992). "The Big Hand" is one of the few B-sides to be played live, although very rarely. It was first played in 1991, performed a few times during the Wish Tour in 1992, then revived at the Ultra Music Festival in 2007, and popped up, though rarely, during the band's 4Tour World Tour 2007–08.[citation needed]

A promo version of the song features yet another longer unreleased mix, with phaser on Robert Smith's voice.[citation needed] An instrumental version on cassette is also known to exist.

"A Letter to Elise" itself was revived by the band's new Smith/Gallup/Thompson/Cooper lineup in 2005 after being played sparingly, if ever, during the Smith/Gallup/Bamonte/Cooper/O'Donnell era. Like "The Big Hand", it was not played very often, and was usually a pleasant surprise to fans when it popped up in setlists.[citation needed]


"A Letter to Elise" has been covered by Aaron Sprinkle, for his Really Something EP, Blink-182, for the MTV Icon show for The Cure, and Sense Field, for their 2003 album Living Outside.

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl
No. Title Length
1. "A Letter to Elise" (7" remix edit – also available on Galore) 4:20
2. "The Big Hand" 4:52
12" vinyl
No. Title Length
1. "A Letter to Elise (Blue Mix)" 6:37
2. "The Big Hand" 4:56
3. "A Foolish Arrangement" 3:54
No. Title Length
1. "A Letter to Elise" (7" remix edit – also available on Galore) 4:24
2. "The Big Hand" 4:56
3. "A Foolish Arrangement" 3:54
4. "A Letter to Elise (Blue Mix)" 6:37
cd US promo Elektra prcd 8638-2
No. Title Length
1. "A Letter to Elise (7" remix edit)" (cd says 4:18) 4:23
2. "A Letter to Elise (12" extended remix)" (cd says 7:06) 7:07


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 103
Ireland (IRMA)[3] 23
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 13
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 39
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 28
US Hot Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard)[7] 2


External links[edit]