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Back To The Centre
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£12.45+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2011
This is Paul Brady's third rock album and his fourth overall but it was the first album of his which I heard so it remains very special in my affections. 'Back To The Centre' made me a Paul Brady fan and I immediately started checking out his back catalogue after I heard this album back in 1985.

The stand-out track is 'The Island', which is a profound contemplation of the backdrop of sectarian tensions from Northern Ireland to the Lebanon. Brady elects to insulate himself from the bloodthirsty "witchdoctors praying (/preying?) for a mighty showdown" by focussing on love while the world descends into darkness. Making love "to the sound of the ocean" has resonances of an act of rebellion against "sacrificing our children to feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday", just as David Bowie's "Heroes" defiantly kissed in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. It's a beautiful reminder that "pictures on the television" don't tell the whole story and real people have much higher aspirations than to spend their time "whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls."
A special mention is also due to the late Kenny Craddock for his beautiful and sympathetic piano accompaniment to Brady's dynamic vocal performance.

"The Homes Of Donegal" sees Brady return to the interpretation of traditional music for the first time since his classic folk album "Welcome Here Kind Stranger" (which was Melody Maker's Folk Album Of The Year in 1978.) On this occasion, despite his magnificent acoustic guitar and tin-whistle playing, the flavour is unmistakeably rock rather than folk but the track is an unqualified success and has deservedly been a substantial radio hit in Paul's native Ireland and it is still frequently heard.

The rest of the songs on "Back To The Centre" are accompanied by a full rock band line-up. They are unfailingly melodic even though powerful, driving numbers such as 'To Be The One', 'Walk The White Line', 'Airwaves' and 'Soulbeat' outnumber the more tender songs such as 'Follow On' and 'Deep In Your Heart'.

Overall, the sound of 'Back To The Centre' is much more polished than the preceding two albums ('Hard Station' and 'True For You') and it sounds more state-of-the-art for its time (1985). The drum sounds are crisp and clear, the guitars are beautifully recorded and the brilliance of Brady's unique voice is faithfully captured. It's a thoroughly enjoyable set whose finest moments are close to sublime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2014
One of my favourite Paul Brady albums of all time, so many excellent songs. The first PB song I heard on the radio was from this album and its still one of my favourites - 'Deep in your heart'. It has one of the best examples of soulful lead guitar by Eric Clapton ever. Worth it just for this one track alone, but the rest is excellent too. Some of the keyboard sounds date it a bit but the songs shine through. Not a dud track on it. Recommended.
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on 25 August 2015
Paul Brady is a talented songwriter and musician, but this suffers from a dated 80s production and some not particularly strong material. There was a lot of this non-specifc, wine bar lite easy listening around at the time, and it proves a difficult listen 30 years later. "The Island" is heralded as a classic, and it is rather lovely, but as simplistic in it's diagnosis and political awareness as Spandau Ballet's "Through The Barricades". The album sounds like a Chris Rea record, sang by Paul Carrack. Perfectly pleasant but definitely lightweight.
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on 16 October 2014
This is a good album although I'm not into the slightly irritating 80s over-compressed off-beats on some tracks.
It's a great album and I have it on LP.
Best tracks - The Island, Follow On and Homes of Donegal.
Paul Brady is a brilliant singer songwriter and used to be part of Planxty.
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on 5 June 2013
Had this recording a while back - lost it(?) So decided to buy MP3 - good to hear again. Donegal is a favourite.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2010
Have a couple of albums from Paul Brady. 'The Island' is a track on 'Back to the Centre' that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end! For some reason it brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. In my humble opinion this album is worth buying for this track alone.
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on 10 March 2015
love this album thanks
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