“I Want to Know What Love Is” is one of the most famous power ballad of the 20th century. Written by British-American rock band Foreigner and member Mick Jones, “I Want to Know What Love Is” was the lead single from the group’s fifth studio album “Agent Provocateur”, released through Atlantic Records in December 1984.
According to classicrockmagazine.com, the soft rock song came to Mick Jones late at night:
“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…”.
In another article on classicrockmagazine.com, Jones spoke about his experiences working with the New Jersey Mass Choir, stating that:
“We did a few takes, and it was good, but it was still a bit tentative. So then they all got round in a circle, held hands and said The Lord’s Prayer. And it seemed to inspire them, because after that they did it in one take. I was in tears, because my mum and dad were in the studio too, and it was so emotional.” The track is the most successful and well-known out of all of the band’s songs.
The official music video can be found on RHINO (an online music catalog) and their channel on YouTube. The video shows Foreigner performing and perfecting the song in the record studio with the New Jersey Mass Choir, intertwined and interloped with footage of people going about their daily life. Uploaded to YouTube in January 2020, the video currently has 76.3 million views.
Release Date: 13th November 1984
Songwriter: Mick Jones
Producer/s: Mick Jones & Alex Sadkin
Music Video Release Date: 1984
Music Video Director: Brian Gibson
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Accolades: Within a year of the song’s release, “I Want to Know What Love Is” charted at:
– #1 in Australia
– #7 in Austria
– #6 & #7 on various charts in Belgium
– #1 & #9 in Canada
– #3 in Denmark
– #7 in Finland
– #18 in France
– #1 in Ireland
– #1 in Israel
– #25 in Italy
– #6 & #5 in the Netherlands
– #1 in New Zealand
– #1 in Norway
– #1 in Poland
– #2 in Portugal
– #2 in South Africa
– #8 in Spain
– #1 in Sweden
– #2 in Switzerland
– #1 in the UK
– #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100
– #1 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock
– #3 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary
– #85 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
– #1 on the US Cash Box Top 100
– #3 on the Official German Charts
“I Want to Know What Love Is” is certified Platinum in the UK and 2x Platinum in the US.
“I Want to Know What Love Is” is listed as at #479 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
The lyrics to “I Want to Know What Love Is” can be read here: LINK
Find Foreigner on Spotify: LINK
Find Foreigner on Apple Music: LINK