I Want To Know What Love Is
Foreigner 1984 I Want To Know What Love Is 45

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me

Peak Chart Position
  • No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1985 for two weeks
  • No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1984
  • peaked at No. 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1984
  • peaked at No. 85 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart in 1985
  • No. 1 on the UK Singles chart in 1984 for three weeks
  • RIAA certified Gold record
  • from Foreigner's fifth studio album, Agent Provocateur (1984)
  • the biggest hit single for Foreigner
  • backing vocals: New Jersey Mass Choir, Jennifer Holliday, Tom Bailey (of Thompson Twins)
  • Foreigner:
        Lou Gramm - percussion, vocals
        Mick Jones - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
        Rick Wills - bass, backing vocals
        Dennis Elliott - drums, backing vocals
  • ranks #479 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2010 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • written by Mick Jones
  • Thoughts from Mick Jones on writing Foreigner's biggest hit: “I always worked late at night, when everybody left and the phone stopped ringing.  'I Want To Know What Love Is' came up at three in the morning sometime in 1984. I don’t know where it came from. I consider it a gift that was sent through me. I think there was something bigger than me behind it. I’d say it was probably written entirely by a higher force.  The song was an expression of my tempestuous private life over the three years before.  I’d been through a divorce, and met someone else who I was going to marry. There’d been turmoil in the band through the huge pressure of selling millions of albums, and me and Lou (Gramm, lead vocalist) were entering a cold-war situation. I’d just come back to England from New York and was happy to be in touch with my roots. So it was an emotional time that stirred up a lot of things.  That night I only managed the title, the opening chords and the chorus.  I was still looking for ways to enhance it in a spiritual way.  I’d even considered approaching Aretha Franklin.  In the end I was having lunch with a guy who ran a gospel music label. He sent me a bunch of albums, and one was by the New Jersey Mass Choir. When I heard them, I immediately had the finished song in my head. So I drove out to New Jersey and watched them in rehearsals, and it sounded fantastic. They were fresh; they’d never recorded a mainstream album before.” - ClassicRockMag
  • produced by Mick Jones, Alex Sadkin
  • recorded at The Hit Factory, New York City and Right Track Studios, New York City
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