In 1980, Thompson and Roxy Music parted ways due to "musical differences" and Thompson played with musicians like Gary Moore, Jonathon Perkins and Concrete Blonde.
Fans nicknamed him "The Great Paul Thompson", because of his remarkable drumming skills and power.
In 2001, he reunited with his fellow Roxy Music band members for a tour (excluding Eno, who refrained from participating). He also toured with Ferry, supporting his Frantic album. The band, again with Thompson on the drum stool, performed on 11 June 2005 at the Isle of Wight Festival 2005.