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The Cost of Loving is the third studio album by English group The Style Council. It was originally released in February 1987.[2] The album was recorded over a period of three months in 1986, at Solid Bond Studios (owned by their lead vocalist, Paul Weller). The album is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. The album peaked at number 2 in the UK charts, and achieved gold status from the BPI. It featured the singles "It Didn't Matter" and "Waiting", which had corresponding music videos. "It Didn't Matter" reached the top 10 in the UK charts, however "Waiting" failed to make the top 40, which was a first for any Style Council single.

The Cost of Loving
The Cost of Loving original .jpg
UK cover
Studio album by
Released7 February 1987
RecordedMay, August and October 1986
StudioSolid Bond Studios
ProducerPaul Weller
The Style Council chronology
Home and Abroad
The Cost of Loving
Confessions of a Pop Group
Alternative cover
US cover
US cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]

On release, The Cost of Loving received mixed reviews from music journalists. Today, the album is generally seen as a turning point in the band's career, leading to the sounds later explored on Confessions of a Pop Group and Modernism: A New Decade, whilst also signalling the start of the band's declining commercial and critical success. The band themselves have been quite vocal in being less satisfied with the album.


Production and recordingEdit

This album saw the group concentrating on the R&B styles that had been growing in America during the eighties. Its urban contemporary feel was a jolt to listeners who had grown accustomed to the continental mix of soul music, jazz, and European folk styles that the band had displayed on their previous two albums. United States label Geffen Records heard the tracks and promptly dropped The Style Council from their roster. Socially conscious soul music pioneer Curtis Mayfield was asked to mix some of the material on the album, which displays hints of being influenced by house music and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis sound. Tracks from the album were included in a 37-minute film, Jerusalem, about the band.

Cover artEdit

The initial British pressings of the album were conceived and issued as two 12" EPs in a gatefold sleeve (designed by Simon Halfon with ideas from Paul Weller). Polygram records would eventually issue the album Stateside without its much-maligned International Orange jacket design. When asked by Uncut magazine whether the album cover was intended as "a citric version of The Beatles' White Album?", Weller replied that "the only thing" he "can say in its defence is that it's in some book as one of the top 100 album sleeves."[3]

Critical receptionEdit

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album two out of five stars and wrote that "Filled with bland, professional soul-pop, few of the songs have memorable melodies and the band tends to meander through the slick arrangements." also noting that "Weller's lyrics were self-important and under-developed, with only the hit single "It Didn't Matter" making a lasting impression among the undistinguished songs that comprised the majority of the album."[1]

In 1991, the NME included the album in a list of fourteen albums that "should've been an EP".[4]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Paul Weller, except where noted.

Side one
1."It Didn't Matter"5:44
2."Right to Go"
Side two
3."Heavens Above"6:10
4."Fairy Tales"4:08
Side three
6."Walking the Night" 4:30
Side four
8."The Cost of Loving"4:19
9."A Woman's Song"3:02
Total length:42:12


  • Paul Weller – lead and background vocals; guitars; synthesizers; drum programming
  • Mick Talbot – acoustic and electric pianos, Wurlitzer and Hammond organs; synthesizers; bass synthesizer
  • Dee C. Lee – lead and background vocals
  • Steve White – drums; percussion
  • The Dynamic Three – rapping on "Right to Go"
  • Steve Sidelynk – percussion on "Right to Go", congas on "Heavens Above" and "Fairy Tales"
  • Camelle Hinds – bass guitar on "Heavens Above", "Angel" and "Walking the Night"
  • Billy Chapman – saxophone on "Heavens Above"
  • Anne Stephenson – violin on "Heavens Above"
  • Guy Barker – trumpet on "Fairy Tales"; flugelhorn on "Walking the Night"
  • Roddy Lorimer – trumpet on "Fairy Tales"; flugelhorn on "Walking the Night"
  • Luke Tunney – trumpet on "Fairy Tales"; flugelhorn on "Walking the Night"
  • Ashley Slater – trombone on "Fairy Tales"
  • Chris Lawrence – trombone on "Fairy Tales"
  • Pete Thams – trombone on "Fairy Tales"
  • John Valentine – backing vocals on "Walking the Night"
  • John Mealing – orchestral arrangements
  • Jezar – engineer, sequencing, mixer on "Right to Go"
  • Alan Leeming – engineer, mixer on "The Cost Of Loving"
  • Paul Weller – producer
  • The Valentine Brothers – mixers on "It Didn't Matter" and "Angel"
  • Matthew Kasha – mixer on "Heavens Above"
  • Curtis Mayfield – mixer on "Fairy Tales"
  • Carl Beatty – mixer on "Walking the Night"
  • John Valentine – mixer on "Waiting"



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[11] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Allmusic review
  2. ^ NME. London, England: IPC Media: 3. 10 March 1984. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^ NME November 1991 issue.
  5. ^ "NL Charts > Alexander O'Neal". MegaCharts. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Musicload Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Discografie The Style Council". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  8. ^ "SWE Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Chart Stats - The Style Council". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Chart Stats - The Style Council". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  11. ^ "British album certifications – The Style Council – The Cost of Loving". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 June 2015. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The Cost of Loving in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit