A Perfect Day Elise

"A Perfect Day Elise" is a song by English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey. Written solely by Harvey, the song was released as the lead single from her fourth studio album, Is This Desire? (1998), on 14 September 1998 through Island Records. The song became Harvey's highest charting single in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 25.[1][2] An accompanying music video for the song, directed by Harvey's frequent collaborator Maria Mochnacz, was released in 1998.[3]

"A Perfect Day Elise"
PJ Harvey - A Perfect Day Elise.jpeg
Single by PJ Harvey
from the album Is This Desire?
Released 14 September 1998
Format CD, 7" vinyl
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:08
Label Island
Songwriter(s) PJ Harvey
Producer(s) Flood, Steve Osborne, PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey singles chronology
"That Was My Veil"
"A Perfect Day Elise"
"The Wind"
"That Was My Veil"
"A Perfect Day Elise"
"The Wind"

Background and reception

Similar to the other songs on Is This Desire?, "A Perfect Day Elise" narrates individual portrait of a female protagonist, named "Elise" in the song.[4][5] According to the authors of Disruptive Divas: Feminism, Identity and Popular Music, Lori Burns and Melisse Lafrance, Harvey's vocals are recorded "with the effect of she is enclosed, while her voice is also layered with an octave doubling."[5]

On his review for Is This Desire?, James Oldham of NME wrote that the song "will provide you with some idea of what's to come, but even its rumbling momentum and overloaded percussion is no preparation for the brutality of some of the material here."[6] on his review for The New York Times, Robert Christgau described the song as "the uptempo single" off the album; nevertheless he also stated that the song "rocks to nowhere."[7] Paul Verna of Billboard compared the song to other contemporary U2 tracks that were also produced by Flood.[8]

Track listing

UK CD single

  1. "A Perfect Day Elise" – 3:08
  2. "The Northwood" – 1:53
  3. "Sweeter Than Anything" – 3:11

UK 7"

  1. "A Perfect Day Elise" – 3:08
  2. "Sweeter Than Anything" – 3:11
  3. "Instrumental #3" – 1:03

US promo CD

  1. "A Perfect Day Elise (Single Version)" – 3:03
  2. "A Perfect Day Elise (Research Hook)" – 0:10


Chart (1998) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[9] 83
French Singles Charts[10] 70
UK Singles Chart[1] 25
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[11] 33


  1. ^ a b "PJ Harvey | Artist | Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  2. ^ Stieven Taylor, Alison (2010). Rock Chicks: The Hottest Female Rockers from the 1960's to Now. Rockpool Publishing. ISBN 1921295988.
  3. ^ "PJ Harvey promotional videos". jphuntley.co.uk. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  4. ^ Raha, Maria (2005). Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground. Seal Press. p. 201. ISBN 1580051162.
  5. ^ a b Burns, Lori and Melisse Lafrance (2013). Disruptive Divas: Feminism, Identity and Popular Music. Routledge. pp. 177, 188. ISBN 1135698740.
  6. ^ Oldham, James (22 August 1998). "PJ Harvey : Is This Desire?". NME. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (27 September 1998). "Pop/Jazz; Back With a Bang After Three Quiet Years". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  8. ^ Verna, Paul (October 1998). "PJ Harvey - Is This Desire?". Billboard. 110 (43): 20.
  9. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  10. ^ "PJ Harvey singles on French charts". SNEP. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  11. ^ "PJ Harvey Album & Song Chart History | Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 4 July 2012.

External links

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