"The Fly" - U2

Promotional Release

Track Listing:

Background Information

A number of really unique items started popping up during the promotion of “Achtung Baby” starting with the release of the first single, “The Fly”. “The Fly” was released a few weeks in advance of the album, and was the first taste of the new album. In Finland, to make sure that radio stations didn’t break the date embargo on playing the new album, the album was shipped in a canister used for film typically, and it was locked with a combination lock. The record company contacted stations the day of release to let them know the combination that unlocked the lock.

In France there was a highly sought after promotional release, containing both the French 7-inch single, and the French 5-inch CD. Both were stickered to note that they were promotional releases. This set also included a window cling sticker that featured the single cover. The whole package was released in a unique box, which was black with a small “U2” in the centre of the cover. This box is listed at number 54 in an article that Record Collector Magazine published in 2006 of the Top 60 Worldwide U2 Rarities.

A number of promotional 5-inch CDs exist for the release of “The Fly” as that format was gaining in popularity. In the USA, a single track CD was pressed, and released in a regular jewel case with both front and back inserts. In Japan, copies of the commercial CD were relabelled with a promotional sticker on the cover, and “sample” written in the centre of the disc itself. Australia also received a promotional CD, which was the same as the tracks included on the commercial CD, however the disc was silver with black print, and was not printed like the commercial CD.

In both Canada and the USA, copies of the commercial 12-inch were stamped in gold and distributed as promotional items. In Germany as well the commercial single was used for promotion, and the 12-inch was released with a promotional picture bag, sticker and promotional cover. In Brazil there was a unique promotional pressing of the 12-inch vinyl, which came with a white label. Of note with that release, the “U2” in the front of the cover is quite large in comparison to other releases.

Very few 7-inch promotional items were issued, with the exception of a 7-inch single made in France, and distributed throughout Europe and the UK. The label of this single is moulded right into the vinyl and is not stickered. These were made for use in juke boxes.

For more information on the single “The Fly”, including information about the song, how it charted, and the songs included on international releases, please see our discography entry for the “The Fly” single.

Liner Notes

The Fly:
Written by U2. Produced by Daniel Lanois. Engineered by Flood. Additional engineering by Robbie Adams. Assisted by Shannon Strong. Mixed by Flood with Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite. Assisted by Robbie Adams. Special thanks to Brian Eno.

Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk / Korova 1:
Written by Bono and the Edge. Produced and arranged by Paul Barrett. Assisted by Ian Bryan. Mixed by Ingmar Kiang. Programming by Dave Clayton. Percussion by Noel Eccles. Boy Sopranos: Noel and Jerry O’Gorman. Special thanks to Dr. Albert Bradshaw. From the RSC production of “A Clockwork Orange” directed by Ron Daniels.

The Lounge Fly Mix:
Written by U2. Produced by Daniel Lanois. Engineered by Flood. Additional engineering by Robbie Adams. Mixed by Flood. Assisted by Shannon Strong.


Photography by Anton Corbijn. Design by Works Associates (Dublin). Car painted by Thierry Noir (Berlin).

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