Four Letter Word

Song written by Ricky and Marty Wilde. Third track of the album Close. Released as a single in November 1988 in the UK and two months later in Europe. It was the last song Ricky and Marty co-wrote together for Kim.


There are three versions of 'Four letter word': the album version, an extended version and a Late Night Mix.
In 2006, Kim included a new version called Four Letter Word (2006) on her album Never Say Never.


The single was released on 7" single, a limited edition box set 7" single, a 12" single and a CD-single.
See also this page in the discography.

Music video

A music video was filmed to promote the single. It was directed by Michael Geoghegan.
Go to this page for more information.

Live performances

'Four letter word' was performed live during the Here & Now Christmas Party tour in 2002, at Tivoli in Copenhagen in 2003, during live concerts in 2006, the Perfect Girl Tour in 2007, during live concerts in 2008 and 2009, during the Snapshots & Greatest Hits Tour in 2012, during a tour with Nik Kershaw in Australia in 2013, Christmas concerts in December 2013 and December 2015 and during the Wilde Wild Xmas Show in December 2017.

Cover versions

'Four letter word' was covered by Lynn Sweet. There are also two covers in Chinese, once by Fanny Cheng and once by Yvonne Lau.

Kim about 'Four letter word'

Tony Swain wanted more from my singing than ever before. He let me sing higher notes than I'd ever sung. I got an enormous kick out of it. Next to singing techniques he demanded everything from my emotions as well. The melancholy on 'Four letter word' is the result of that. I matured as a singer with that song. I'm proud that my father wrote the lyrics of that song. He deserves an award for it. (1)

My Dad, Marty, was strumming his guitar when he came up with the idea for this disconsolate and clever love song. 'Four letter word', which was nominated for an Ivor Novello award, was the first 'straight ballad' I had released as a single in my eight-year career. (2)


Keyboards & programming: Ricky Wilde, Tony Swain
Guitars: Steve Byrd, Ricky Wilde
Produced by Ricky Wilde and Tony Swain
Engineered by James Richards.
Mix engineered by Richard Lengyel

Highest chart positions

Austria: 23
Germany: 27 (10 weeks)
Ireland: 5 (7 weeks)
Netherlands: 8 (7 weeks)
Switzerland: 18 (4 weeks)
United Kingdom: 6 (12 weeks)

Interview source

(1) Kim Wilde: the hangover after the party, Veronica (Netherlands), March 25, 1989
(2) Facebook Track by Track commentary, published September 3, 2013