Every Billboard Modern Rock Chart #1 through 2005, listed in order of preference.
November 9-22, 1991
I think I only caught this once or twice on MTV when it was released - "Mysterious Ways" quickly replaced it as the single of choice - but even with my less defined concept of U2, I was weirded out. I can't imagine what the Mekons and beyond thought of "The Fly" (not to mention The Fly) when it was first unleashed upon us. Whatever the good intentions may have been, the consequences of this media onslaught and accepted paradigm shift were hideous: ad execs got help associating techno with cars, 90s arena bands who didn't want to self-nullify like Pearl Jam instead approached sex and grandeur through irony (not as fun as we hoped - e.g. Ed Kowalcyzk in feather boa, Monster
), and the Pixies broke up quicker than they might have otherwise. Despite the crimes at their feet, the song remains one of the strongest of their grody dance numbers, with Bono insinuating his biblical bull into the groove rather than wailing above it. Determined to seduce and forced to obscure their manifest destiny, they offered more of an aural excuse for their existence in 1991 than they ever have before or since.A man will beg
A man will crawl
On the sheer face of love
Like a fly on a wall
It's no secret at all