U2 – The Fly (12″)


I think I mentioned this last time I still don’t understand why people hate U2, it baffles me that when I speak to any of my friends they change and splutter things like, “Can’t stand them!” “That Bloody Bono” and “They lost it years ago.”

I’m not a massive fan but respect their longevity and the fact their is friendly rivalry between them and Depeche Mode. Is it just not trendy to like them anymore?

This was the lead single from 1991’s “Achtung Baby” album. Bono said “the sound of U2 chopping down the Joshua tree.” Adopting the indie dance/ Big Beat feel of the time, it has some glorious guitar work from the Edge and features Bono’s falsetto.

The B-side is a short but high quality instrumental, from the Bono/Edge soundtrack for an updated Stage version of  “Clockwork Orange,” lots of synths and variation.



Island Records ‎– 12 IS 500flyfrontcov

A1 The Fly 4:29
A2 Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle Of Milk / Korova 1 3:37
B The Lounge Fly Mix 6:28

11 thoughts on “U2 – The Fly (12″)”

  1. U2 – I believe twice I have seen this band. Once at the L. A. COLISEUM for the Joshua Tree album,’87. Then again at Dodgers Stadium with The Sugarcubes & Public Enemy Oct 31st Halloween – Both great shows with of course Joshua Tree being my favorite. Opening Band The Pretenders with Borrowed guitarist Johnny Marr.
    U2 is a great band but the style doesn’t grab me as much now. Someone said to me who is a better well known band U2 or Depeche Mode. Actually U2 believe it or not.

    1. Dodgers Stadium with The Sugarcubes & Public Enemy Oct 31st Halloween (This was in 1992).Anyway as most bands decline after a while, U2 was one where Oh well that album wasn’t as good as I thought it may have been, wait for the remixes, maybe a better take on the matter (Remixes sometimes save the song/s!!)

  2. LOVE The Fly – a turning point that saw a political rock band transcend to become a trendsetting alt pop rock band.

    I saw them live a number of times during this era, from Pop to 360 and were blown away by their stagemanship and musicality (Mr Mephisto was a trip).

    They’ve softened in the past decade, almost becoming as drab, boring and uninspiring as Coldplay (guess who I’m not a fan of). No Line on the Horizon was probably their last really good album, but you never know, they could pull something out of the hat at any moment.

    But still, Achtung Baby. Genius.

  3. Here’s why I don’t like U2 [since I’ve already hinted at that can of worms]. First of all, I have never heard a single note from “Boy.” Still. To this day. But wow, did I ever read a lot of hype about it. I only ever heard U2 from “Gloria” from the “October” album. Eh. What knifed the baby with me was Bono flaunting his Christianity in interviews at the time. That was enough to be a deal killer. Then once Bono became the smarmy superstar he’s been since album 3, they’ve been on my blacklist.

    From then on they’ve only gotten worse for me.

    Once I finally heard The Associates “Affectionate Punch,” I realized that the legendary guitar sound of “The Edge” was ripped wholesale from “Paperhouse.” That only increases my enmity. U2 are not worthy of shining MacKenzie and Rankine’s boots!

    They were a horrifying influence on Simple Minds; I daresay the finest Post-Punk band ever. I hold U2 partially responsible for a decade of dross from that band that culminated in the worst album that U2 never made: “Street Fighting Years!” Bloated whale flatus transcribed to disc!!!

    Watching Bono become very chummy with every person of power in the world in the last 35 years has been nauseating. He’s drawn to power like flies to…you know. He’s right up there with people like Billy Graham. The FINALLY DEAD preacher/grifter who built a tax-free empire of finance and political influence by peddling the god, the ultimate product – NO overhead with limitless profit margins – to his marks.

    Speaking of tax-free, Bono’s offshore adventures while piously mouthing words about justice and fairness renders him supremely punchable on either of his two faces!

    Also, they wasted years of Brian Eno’s valuable time [and were damned smug about it]. That’s got to count for something, too.

    Smug. There’s a word. Has there ever been a more smug popstar than Mr. “Bono Vox?”

    And finally, when watching “This Might Get Loud,” I was gobsmacked to see that “The Edge” had NEVER HEARD Link Wray’s “Rumble” until Jimmy Page played it for him in the film. How worthless can a guitarist with no knowledge of Link Wray possibly be??!

    I can’t think of anything bad to say about the rhythm section. They get a pass.

      1. djjedredy – They’re just opinions. I think that lots of people really BONDED on hearing that first album and it never happened with me. I’ve only seen/heard the live “I Will Follow” video on MTV in 1983 or so. no life changing for me at that time and not the album cut. My first exposure was to an album they wrote under the gun after Bono’s lyric notebook was stolen and he winged it. I think that Gartner’s Hype Cycle is an equally valid tool to apply to rock bands! I approached the band at the peak of inflated expectation and made contact at the trough of disillusionment!

      2. No worries I don’t really like them myself ( a few tracks are okay) but I just wanted to prod the anti-U2 brigade and it has ruffled a few feathers. Take the personality out of the music and Simply Red would still me massive 🙂

  4. @PostPostModernDad

    I understand some of your dislike of Bono, but the parallel with Billy Graham is off target, Billy actually lived fairly modestly and didn’t do as much a money grab as you portrayed. Now perhaps the same can not be said of his son Franklin, but that is another story.

    Anyone can do a quick review of Billy via their own google search, I found a Money mag article (secular) pretty much admitted what I surmised (had him worth about 25 million at time of his death). I found the article called “Billy Graham made sure his integrity was never in question” a better inside view on just how he worked to prevent claims such as yours.

    As a durn bad Southern Baptist myself (who did drink a beer a time or two over the years). I once asked my pastor about tax free status… He said it was tax free to a point, but made sure I understood he paid taxes on his salary as did all the others that got paid anything had to do. The government gets their cut one way or the other. There was no off shore Irish tax dodge accounts anyhoo.

    Just a friendly counter post among friends that love 80s music. If so determined, you may have the last word. I am a guest here and not the place to argue.

    Back on topic…. I thought this song was rather blah… I like some U2, just not as much as most fans of the era do. Weird huh… But I love finding that one gem, thanks djjedredy for opening your music vaults to us “deployables”…

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