Confessions of a Pop Group

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Confessions of a Pop Group
Confessions of a pop group.jpg
Studio album by The Style Council
Released 20 June 1988 (UK)
Recorded 1988
Length 57:25
Label Polydor
The Style Council chronology
The Cost of Loving
Confessions of a Pop Group
Modernism: A New Decade
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 1/5 stars[1]

Confessions of a Pop Group is the fourth studio album by The Style Council. Released on 20 June 1988, the album received moderate success, reaching number 15 on the UK album chart. The album is essentially an eclectic blend of Weller's influences, side one and side two are completely different, in the vein of the first record Café Bleu.

A variety of guest musicians featured on the album, including The Swingle Singers who provided backing harmonies on "The Story of Someone's Shoe". Songs such as "Confessions of a Pop Group" were new territory for The Style Council, incorporating elements of concept album format with "The Gardener of Eden" being a contrasting blend of R&B, classical and jazz, whilst the lyrics tell the tale of the ecologically mistreated planet earth.

"How She Threw It All Away" and "Why I Went Missing" are often cited as lost Weller classics, having not been played live since the early 'rebirth' of Weller's solo career (around 1990/91).

As with its predecessor, The Cost of Loving, the album received mixed reviews, with Allmusic giving the album one star. When later asked by Paul Lester whether he was disappointed by the reception, Weller replied: "I must have been. I put a lot of time into it, and there was a better vibe when we recorded it than The Cost of Loving, which was a real rough time for us. It wasn't particularly inspiring and I felt we'd got back on track. I thought, lyrically, the songs were really good. Again, some of the performances were lacking."[2]


Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic negatively remarked that the album ranges from "self-important jazz-pop fusions to an orchestral suite that finishes the album,"[3] whilst Uncut positively said that "half of it features sublime instrumental passages worthy of Satie, Bacharach or French soundtrack composer Francis Lai; the other half is consummate white funk," saying that the album has "tripartite suites and vaulting ambition."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  • All Songs Written By Paul Weller, except where noted.
  1. "It's a Very Deep Sea" - 5:33
  2. "The Story of Someone's Shoe" - 3:43
  3. "Changing of the Guard" - 2:50
  4. "The Little Boy in a Castle (A)/A Dove Flew Down From the Elephant (B)" (Mick Talbot) - 3:05
  5. "The Gardener of Eden (A Three Piece Suite) I) In the Beginning II) The Gardener of Eden III) Mourning the Passing of Time" - 10:30
  6. "Life at a Top People's Health Farm" - 4:17
  7. "Why I Went Missing" - 4:43
  8. "How She Threw It All Away" - 4:17
  9. "Iwasadoledadstoyboy" - 4:28
  10. "Confessions 1, 2, & 3" - 4:43
  11. "Confessions of a Pop-Group" - 9:28

Note : The above is the tracklisting for the UK release. In the US, the original halves of the album were reversed, with tracks 6-11 above coming first, followed by tracks 1-5.


  • Paul Weller – vocals, guitars, synthesisers, drum programs
  • Mick Talbot – piano forte, Hammond organ, clavinet, synthesisers
  • Dee C. Lee – vocals
  • Camille Hinds – bass
  • Paul Morgan – contra bass
  • Steve White – drums
  • Nick Brown – drums
  • Dick Morrissey – flute on "How She Threw It All Away"
  • Little Joo Ruocco – percussion
  • Chris Lawrence – trombone
  • Frank Ricotti – vibraphone
  • Rupert Parker – harp
  • The Swingle Singers – backing vocals on "The Story of Someone's Shoe"

See also[edit]