not a member? click here to sign up
He’s one of the outstanding Irish songwriters of the modern era. Now Paul Brady is taking fans and newcomers alike on an intimate journey, with an album chronicling some of his favourite career moments. Here, he looks back over his extraordinary 45 years in the business, argues that the emerging generation has shot itself in the foot and, controversially, takes the Government to task in relation to copyright
Niall Stokes, 25 Jun 2012
Paul Brady began to play music professionally during the beat boom of the ‘60s. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career since, spanning the ballad boom, a stint devoted to traditional music, membership of Planxty, and a career as a singer-songwriter and solo performer that yielded a series of major international successes.
He has broken box-office records in Ireland, playing a phenomenal run of 23 sell-out shows at Vicar St. in 2001. He has made a number of songs from the canon his own, including ‘Arthur McBride’ ‘The Homes Of Donegal’ and, arguably, ‘The Lakes Of Pontchartrain’. And he has written some of the most memorable and best loved Irish songs of the past 30 years, most notably ‘The Island’ – which has been widely covered – ‘Crazy Dreams’, ‘Nobody Knows’ and ‘The Long Goodbye (written with Ronan Keating).
His songs have been covered by dozens of artists, both Irish and international. Tina Turner led the charge with her version of ‘Steel Claw’ on her phenomenally successful Private Dancer album and Brady has been memorably covered also by Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Edmunds, Cher, Carole King, Maura O’Connell, Mary Black and Brooks and Dunn – who had a No. 1 US hit with ‘The Long Goodbye’ – among many more.
With over 20 albums, including collaborations, already to his credit, Paul has just released a new retrospective compilation, entitled Dancer In The Fire: A Paul Brady Anthology. It is a curious but nonetheless fascinating artifact. Definitively not a Paul Brady greatest hits, rather it is a personal selection of songs, tracks and recordings that Brady himself wants to revisit – and through which he aims to offer a fresh variation on The Paul Brady Story to the wider listening public.
“With this record I decided to focus on songs and recordings of mine I’m personally fond of,” he explains, “mostly those that might not have got a lot of attention or been all that well known. Perhaps a b-side of a single or a different mix that was never released or even a demo. With a couple of exceptions they’re songs that rarely featured on radio.”