Did U2 Steal Their Song “The Fly”? [POLL]
Man if I could have been a fly on the wall when U2 got news of this.
It turns out that one of my favorite all-time U2 songs is the subject of some controversy. A British artist by the name of Paul Rose has filed a lawsuit against U2 for allegedly stealing “signature elements” of his song “Nae Slappin” for use in their 1991 song “The Fly” from their hugely successful ‘Achtung Baby’ album.
Rose claims that he gave a demo tape of “Nae Slappin” to Island Records in 1989, the same year the label signed U2. He believes that tape circulated around the offices of Island soon after and eventually landed in a tape deck that was within earshot of one, some, or all of the members of U2.
It’s not known why Rose waited 25-plus years to file the lawsuit but he’s asking for a hefty $5 million plus legal fees and a song credit which would drop more money in Rose’s bank account for years to come.
A fan by the name U2santos did a nice job of picking out the elements of Rose’s song and playing them alongside the parts of U2’s song which sound the most alike:
I think Rose has a legitimate case and U2 should think about giving him what he’s asking for or at least work towards some type of settlement. Having said that, I highly doubt The Edge intentionally ripped off Rose’s music. Is it possible he and the other band members heard the song at some point and stored it away in their musical minds for inspiration? I think that’s the more likely scenario.
If anything this shows how U2 can take a few interesting song elements and elevate it (no pun intended) into something amazing. Let’s listen to the complete song “Nae Slappin” by Paul Rose and then U2’s completed version of “The Fly” and then tell me which song is better. I don’t think it’s even close.
PAUL ROSE “NAE SLAPPIN”
U2 “THE FLY”
So what do you think? Do you think U2 stole “The Fly” from Paul Rose? Vote below: