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
Released5 October 1992
Format7", 12"
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 was occasionally played 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.


"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
1."A Letter to Elise" (7" remix edit – also available on Galore)4:20
2."The Big Hand"4:52
12" vinyl
1."A Letter to Elise (Blue Mix)"6:37
2."The Big Hand"4:56
3."A Foolish Arrangement"3:54
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
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 Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard)[7] 2


  1. ^ "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 200-151 – Page 2 | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Chart Track: Week 43, 1992". Irish Singles Chart.
  4. ^ "Charts.nz – The Cure – A Letter To Elise". Top 40 Singles.
  5. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Cure – A Letter To Elise". Singles Top 100.
  6. ^ "The Cure: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  7. ^ "The Cure Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for The Cure. Nielsen Business Media.

External links[edit]