The Fly (4:29)

Cover of Achtung Baby

From Achtung Baby and 185 other releases

“The Fly” is a song by rock band U2. It is the seventh track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby and was released on 12 October 1991 as the album’s first single. “The Fly” introduced a more abrasive sounding U2, as the song featured hip-hop and industrial beats, distorted vocals, and an elaborate guitar solo. Lead vocalist Bono described the single as “the sound of four men chopping down the Joshua Tree,”[1] due to its departure from the traditional sound that had characterised the band in the 1980s.

Bono described the song’s subject as that of a phone call from someone in Hell who enjoys being there and telling the person on the other end of the line what he has learned.[2] The song and its video were also a showcase for “The Fly”, a persona that Bono took on for the Zoo TV Tour, in which he played the part of a stereotypical leather-clad rock star known for wearing large wrap-around sunglasses and strutting around the stage. The song became the band’s second number-one single in the UK and was successful among alternative rock radio audiences.
The promotional video was the first appearance of The Fly character and displayed the band’s “new look”. The song was promoted with a music video directed by Ritchie Smythe and Jon Klein. Smythe’s contribution was a basic performance video, relying heavily on unfocused, fast, wandering takes. Klein’s part featured only Bono sitting in a chair with a remote control, facing a wall with several TV sets. The intro to the video, also filmed by Klein, featured a small portion of the “Lounge Fly Mix”, with Bono running in the streets in his “Fly” costume.


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Oh, baby child

It's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky
It's no secret that our world is in darkness tonight

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • richardneal

    The secret ingredient that makes this great recording even better - that tambourine. Try imagining what it would sound like without it.

    3 Feb 4:13pm Reply
  • EzraTurner

    I breathe this song!

    28 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Lsm1995

    This was the 2nd song of U2 I listened to, the first was Where the Streets Have No Name!!!

    26 Oct 2014 Reply
  • MartianReaper

    ''every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief. All kill their inspiration & sing about their grief'' the best line in U2 discography & one of the best ever

    5 Aug 2014 Reply
  • joshsaussey

    Amazing track with epic guitar work. Really love Bono's vocals on the chorus.

    5 May 2014 Reply
  • Mr_Luca

    one of the best guitar solo ever.... and all the other elements of this song are amazing too. Epic

    5 Aug 2013 Reply
  • k_naruchiha94

    This song should've been included in U218, The Best Of 1990-2000 (as the main track), and other U2 compilations to come.

    5 Jun 2013 Reply
  • ivor138

    this song is pure philosophy and pure perfection of everything that made any sense... i just don't know how to describe it with words... timeless shit!!!

    21 Apr 2013 Reply
  • WarriorJones

    This song is fly!

    20 Apr 2013 Reply
  • ivor138

    and i'm not pretty sure that the Edge is aware of brilliance of his guitar work in this song :(

    1 Apr 2013 Reply
  • ivor138

    what we're talkin' about here is something greatest ever made...

    1 Apr 2013 Reply
  • damar47

    that solo!

    5 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Idiots-Rule

    Dat riff!

    16 Jan 2013 Reply
  • silvasonicsurfa

    ...remember the huge hype on R1 when they announcec they wereto play this for the first time....and for once it was fully justified...awesome

    24 Oct 2012 Reply
  • CannedMango

    Edge shows a different take on the guitar solo here and it never fails to give me goosebumps.

    3 Apr 2012 Reply
  • felipecgo

    mas que solo é esse que isso

    28 Sep 2011 Reply
  • hollins48

    1 of my favs from u2 and from there 2nd best album achtung baby only war better.

    13 Sep 2011 Reply
  • albertrose

    this song is legendary good. and i stopped liking u2 in the late 90s.

    31 Aug 2011 Reply
  • wiwaU2

    jaaaa ... einfach Spitze :-)

    31 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Newborn_Bantam

    After seeing this live at Glasto, it has become my favourite U2 song

    15 Aug 2011 Reply
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