The First Letter is the ninth studio album and the last album released by Wire before their second extended hiatus. It was one of only three releases credited to "Wir", the others being the "So And Slow It Grows" single, and a limited edition two song EP entitled Vien. The band changed their name to "Wir"  after drummer Robert Gotobed's departure, who quit the band because the musical direction increasingly relied on drum machines and loops. Other than an Erasure remix, the band would not reform until 1999, and not release any new material until 2002's Read and Burn 01 and Read and Burn 02 EPs and 2003's subsequent Send. The album produced the single "So and Slow It Grows." All songs were composed by Bruce Gilbert, Colin Newman, and Graham Lewis, except "Naked, Whooping and Such-Like (Extended on and On)", with words by Lewis, and reading by Claude Bessey.