Unveiling the Heart and Soul of Foreigner’s Timeless Ballad: The Story Behind “I Want to Know What Love Is”

Foreigner | I Want to Know What Love Is

🎶Did you know “I Want to Know What Love Is” by #Foreigner was inspired by #MickJones’ tumultuous love life? ❤️ Love can be a rollercoaster! 🎢 Listen and let’s rock on! 🎸🤘 #80sClassic #MusicTrivia #ThrowbackThursday Read about it: tinyurl.com/yunbrwn3

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An Anthem for the Ages: An In-Depth Look at Foreigner and Their Timeless Classic

“An Anglo-American rock odyssey: Foreigner’s timeless classic ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ captures hearts and transcends generations, cementing their enduring legacy in rock history.”

Foreigner, an Anglo-American rock band, has captivated audiences for decades with their distinctive sound and engaging lyrics. Their formation in 1976 brought together talented musicians from both sides of the Atlantic: guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones, keyboardist Al Greenwood, bassist Ed Gagliardi, drummer Dennis Elliott, and two Brits – lead vocalist Lou Gramm and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald. With this remarkable lineup, Foreigner managed to create some of the most memorable songs in rock history.

One such song is the 1984 hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” It stands out as one of the most iconic anthems of the 80s, reflecting the band’s ability to create emotionally resonant power ballads. Written by Mick Jones, the song was inspired by his own relationship struggles as well as his desire to express the yearning for a deeper connection. This poignant theme is thoughtfully conveyed through soaring vocals, a gospel choir, and powerful instrumentals—making it a timeless classic that continues to resonate with listeners.

Over the years, Foreigner’s lineup has undergone several changes, with members coming and going. However, Mick Jones remains the constant driving force behind the band’s music. Throughout their career, Foreigner has released nine studio albums and sold over 80 million copies worldwide, earning numerous accolades and awards. Their impressive track record includes 16 Top 30 hits in the US and 14 Top 20 hits in the UK—evidence of their widespread appeal.

Despite the massive success, Foreigner has faced their share of criticism as well. Some critics argue that their music lacks innovation and depth, often sticking to a formulaic approach. However, their die-hard fans argue that the band’s ability to consistently create catchy, well-crafted tunes is what makes them stand out in the world of rock music.

Regardless of the critiques, there’s no denying the lasting impact that Foreigner and “I Want to Know What Love Is” have had on the music landscape. The band’s commitment to their sound and their musicianship has resulted in a legacy that continues to endure. As we look back on their storied career, it’s easy to see why Foreigner remains a beloved and influential presence in the world of rock and roll.

Charting the Journey of a Timeless Classic

Climbing charts and capturing hearts, Foreigner’s global phenomenon, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” stands the test of time as an iconic ’80s power ballad.

Released on November 13, 1984, “I Want to Know What Love Is” proved to be a massive chart success for Foreigner. The song’s powerful balladry, featuring Lou Gramm’s passionate vocals and a gospel choir’s soulful harmonies, resonated with audiences worldwide. The timeless classic climbed the charts rapidly, and it wasn’t long before it made a lasting impression in the annals of music history.

In the United States, “I Want to Know What Love Is” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 56 on December 15, 1984. It didn’t take long for the song to gain momentum, as it steadily ascended the chart over the subsequent weeks. On February 2, 1985, the song reached the coveted number one spot, where it held its position for two consecutive weeks. Thanks to its spellbinding appeal, the song remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for an impressive 23 weeks.

Not content to dominate just the U.S. charts, “I Want to Know What Love Is” became a global phenomenon. The song climbed to the top of the UK Singles Chart and held the number one position for three weeks. Additionally, the single enjoyed success across Europe, peaking at number one in countries such as Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

The song’s allure extended beyond the borders of the Western world, as it reached the top 10 in countries like Australia (peaking at number one), New Zealand, and South Africa. Notably, “I Want to Know What Love Is” became Foreigner’s first and only chart-topper in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

In later years, the song’s enduring legacy continued to shine as it was ranked number 479 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004. It also made an appearance on the publication’s updated 2010 list.

“I Want to Know What Love Is” has remained a perennial favorite over the years, earning its place as one of the most iconic power ballads of the 1980s. The song’s chart success and timeless appeal continue to solidify its status as a true classic in the world of music.

Uncovering the Heart of an Anthem

I gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I’m older

Now this mountain I must climb
Feels like the world upon my shoulders
Through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder

In my life there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life

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

I’m gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me
I’ve got nowhere left to hide
It looks like love has finally found me

In my life there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
I can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life

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

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

The lyrics of “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner touch on universal themes of love, heartache, and the journey towards self-discovery. This powerful ballad, released in 1984, encapsulates the spirit of the time and events of the era, as it was a period of significant change and introspection, both culturally and politically. The decade was marked by a shift away from the idealism of the 1960s and 1970s, towards a more introspective understanding of one’s place in the world.

The lyrics speak to the struggle of navigating life’s hardships and the desire to understand and experience the depth of love. Each verse delves into the protagonist’s journey towards love, starting with a need for reflection and contemplation on past heartaches, before moving on to the determination to face these difficulties and the hope that love will ultimately be found.

The chorus is a powerful plea for guidance and understanding, with the protagonist asking to be shown the true meaning of love. As the song progresses, there is a sense of growth and evolution in the protagonist’s understanding of love, as they move from wanting to know what love is to actually feeling it, demonstrating a shift from intellectual curiosity to emotional experience.

“I Want to Know What Love Is” resonated with the audience of the era, as it was a time when people were searching for deeper connections and meaning in their lives. The song’s popularity can be attributed to its universal themes and the emotional power of its lyrics, which continue to connect with listeners across generations.

A Visual Journey: The Music Video for “I Want to Know What Love Is”

Dive into the fan-driven visual world of Foreigner’s timeless hit “I Want to Know What Love Is,” where creativity meets passion and keeps the song alive, even 35 years later!

When it comes to the music video for the iconic song “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, fans are often surprised to learn that there was no official music video released alongside the song back in 1984. However, that hasn’t stopped creative fans from putting together their own interpretations of the song through various fan videos and YouTube tributes.

One particularly notable tribute video showcases a montage of footage from the band’s live performances, interspersed with images and lyrics that emphasize the song’s powerful message about love and connection. This video, created by a dedicated fan, has amassed thousands of views and continues to be a popular representation of the song on YouTube.

Another interesting fan-made video that pays homage to “I Want to Know What Love Is” takes an artistic approach, using animation to bring the song’s story to life. This animated short features two characters on a quest for love, navigating through various obstacles and challenges as the song plays in the background. The video’s creator certainly deserves recognition for the time and effort put into this unique interpretation of Foreigner’s classic hit.

In recent years, “I Want to Know What Love Is” has experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to its inclusion in various films, TV shows, and commercials. This renewed interest in the song has led to a wave of new fan-made videos, ranging from heartfelt piano covers to elaborate dance routines.

While there may not be an official music video for Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” the creative efforts of fans have more than made up for it. These fan videos and tributes showcase the lasting impact of the song and its ability to resonate with listeners, even more than 35 years after its original release.

The Mastermind Behind the Music: Mick Jones

Mick Jones, the composer of the iconic song “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, is undeniably a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. This multi-talented musician, who serves as the band’s founding member, lead guitarist, and keyboardist, has a knack for creating unforgettable music that resonates with audiences worldwide. Besides the global hit “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Jones has composed numerous chart-topping songs such as “Cold as Ice,” “Feels Like the First Time,” and “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” His exceptional songwriting skills have played an instrumental role in shaping the classic rock sound and solidifying Foreigner’s place in the annals of music history.

Accolades, Appearances, and Covers: A Timeless Classic

Chart-topping, culturally resonant, and universally covered, “I Want to Know What Love Is” remains a timeless classic transcending generations and genres.

“I Want to Know What Love Is” has garnered numerous awards and accolades over the years since its release in 1984. The song topped charts in several countries, including the United States, where it held the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks. In the UK, the song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart and was the band’s highest-charting single in that country. Additionally, the track earned the band a spot in the top ten lists of the year for multiple publications, such as Rolling Stone, which ranked it as the fourth-best song of 1984.

The power ballad’s impact goes beyond just the music world, as it has made numerous appearances in popular culture. “I Want to Know What Love Is” can be heard in several movies and TV shows, including the films “Rock of Ages” (2012) and “Pitch Perfect 3” (2017), as well as episodes of hit series like “Miami Vice” and “Glee.” The emotional resonance of the song has made it a go-to choice to soundtrack moments of longing and self-discovery in these and other works. The song has also been featured in commercials, such as a Swiffer advertisement in 2011, demonstrating its timeless appeal.

Notably, “I Want to Know What Love Is” has inspired a wide range of musicians to create their own versions of the song. Among the most famous covers is Mariah Carey’s 2009 rendition, which charted in the top 20 of the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The song has also been covered by artists as diverse as Tina Arena, Wynonna Judd, and Joe McElderry, showcasing the ballad’s enduring popularity and influence on the music scene.

In recent years, “I Want to Know What Love Is” has found new life in the gaming community. The song has been featured in popular music video games like “Guitar Hero Live” and “SingStar,” allowing players to experience the thrill of performing this classic anthem themselves.

Overall, the impact of “I Want to Know What Love Is” on the music world and popular culture cannot be overstated. Its accolades, appearances, and covers cement its status as a timeless classic that continues to touch the hearts and souls of listeners new and old alike.

A Dive into the Musical Depths

“I Want to Know What Love Is” is a timeless classic that has continued to captivate audiences for decades. Its musical structure is both intricate and engaging, and it’s worth taking a closer look at the elements that make this song so powerful.

The song is written in the key of D Major, which is known for its strong, triumphant, and uplifting tonality. It begins with a slow and steady tempo of 76 beats per minute, setting the stage for the emotional journey that the song takes listeners on. The chord progression primarily revolves around D, G, and A chords, with occasional B minor and E minor chords sprinkling in some variation.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the song’s structure is its use of dynamic contrasts. It starts off with a delicate and tender piano intro, gradually building up with the addition of electric guitar and drums. As the song progresses, it becomes increasingly more powerful and climactic, culminating in the iconic gospel choir-backed chorus that has become synonymous with the track. This careful balance of soft and loud, quiet and intense, gives the song an emotional depth that resonates with listeners.

Another interesting aspect of the song’s musicality is its use of rhythmic and melodic motifs. The main melody in the verses, which is sung by the lead vocalist, is characterized by long, sustained notes that convey a sense of yearning and vulnerability. In contrast, the chorus features shorter, syncopated phrases that give the song a sense of urgency and excitement. The rhythmic interplay between these two sections is masterfully executed, creating a seamless flow from one part of the song to the next.

Lastly, the instrumentation and arrangement of “I Want to Know What Love Is” is worthy of praise. The song incorporates a variety of instruments such as piano, electric guitar, drums, synthesizers, and even a string section, resulting in a rich and textured sonic landscape. Each instrument plays a crucial role in the song’s overall structure and emotional impact. The lush string arrangements, for instance, add an undeniable sense of grandeur and majesty to the track, while the driving drums and electric guitar lend the song its rock-infused edge.

In conclusion, the musical structure of “I Want to Know What Love Is” is a prime example of Foreigner’s ability to craft emotionally charged and memorable songs. Its combination of melody, harmony, rhythm, and instrumentation creates a powerful and captivating listening experience that has endured the test of time.