Paul Brady’s second solo album, Hard Station, was released in 1981.
It was a departure from traditional music and saw Brady take his first steps in to the world of pop and rock.
The album split opinions down the middle.
Some fans were not happy that he had left his traditional roots behind, while others were delighted with the new rock element to Brady’s considerable songwriting talent.
His follow-up album, True For You, was released in 1983. This was followed by Back to the Centre in 1985 and Primitive Dance in 1987.
By the end of the 1980s, he was widely recognised as one of the best Irish performers and songwriters of his generation.
Brady was name checked by none other than Bob Dylan as a musician who had kept his feet on the ground and who wrote and performed purely for the passion for music rather than the desire for recognition.
Dylan said in the booklet notes of his Biograph boxset: “people get too famous too fast these days and it destroys them. Some guys got it down- Leonard Cohen, Paul Brady, Lou Reed, secret heroes,- John Prine, David Allen Coe,Tom Waits.
I listen more to that kind of stuff than whatever is popular at the moment. They’re not just witchdoctoring up the planet, they don’t set up barriers.”
Brady released another album, Trick or Treat, in 1991. It was a compilation of some of his old songs that had been remixed. It was released by Fontana/Mercury Records and was well received.
He released another compilation album, Songs and Crazy Dreams in 1992. This was followed by his seventh studio album, Spirits Colliding in 1995. In 2000 he released his first new material for five years with his eighth album, Oh What a World.
The album featured The Long Goodbye which was written by Brady with Ronan Keating. It was later covered by Brooks and Dunn who reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks charts with the song. Keating released the song himself in 2003 and it reached No 3 in the UK charts.
Brady released his ninth studio album, Say What You Feel,in 2005. The following year, he collaborated with Cara Dillon on The Streets of Derry, a track from her After the Morning album.
He released his most recent album, Hooba Dooba, in 2010. It was another album that was popular with fans and critics. He still regularly tours and collaborates with other artists.