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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish


By Rob Weir
Published June 22, 2006

Nobody Knows: The Best of Paul Brady
Compass Records

Ireland's Paul Brady is one of the few artists in the 1970s and 80s whose influence touched both the pop and acoustic worlds. His 1981 "Nothing But the Same Old Story" so encapsulated anti-Irish bias inside Thatcher's Britain that his recording—complete with Van Morrison-like vocal—became something of an anthem during that phase of "The Troubles." In 1985, Brady's "The Island" linked the plight of Northern Ireland to worldwide struggles for justice and self-determination. Both "Not the Only One" (1983) and "Crazy Dreams" (1981) were pop-chart hits. Yet he is the same artist who so pushed Christy Moore's version of "The Lakes of Ponchartrain" into the public consciousness that it became a Celtic standard. And his version of "Arthur McBride," which he first sang with the seminal Irish band Planxty, is still the definitive arrangement of that traditional song. In all, this album features 14 Brady gems, five of which are either remixed or new recordings.

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