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The Band: Articles: "The Top 100: 54. 'I Want To Know What Love Is'"06.03.03

This article formed part of a collection of reviews titled "The Top 100", where "I Want To Know What Love Is" was ranked as number 54. It was published by the Rolling Stone magazine in September 8, 1988.

54. "I Want To Know What Love Is"
Foreigner, Atlantic Records, December 15th, 1984.

One of the most memorable ballads of the eighties came from a band better known for hard rock than for soul-searching paeans. But then "I Want To Know What Love Is" was written by Mick Jones - Foreigner guitarist and leader - during a period of upheaval in his personal life. "Usually, what I write is a good reflection of what's happening to me", says Jones. "'I Want To Know What Love Is' summed up some of the emotions I was going through at the time".

Out of a difficult spell that included a divorce, Jones wrote a song about hope and renewal that gradually came to take universal dimensions. The presence of the thirty-voice New Jersey Mass Choir on the choruses carried the song to a transcendent level. "I'll always remember them getting in a circle before we did it and everyone saying the Lord's Prayer", Jones says.

"I Want To Know What Love Is" and the album it came from, "Agent Provocateur", rose to the top of the charts in early 1985. Though its success was gratifying - indeed, it was the first number one single for Foreigner after a string of nine top forty hits - Jones ultimately remembers "I Want To Know What Love Is" for the personal responses it elicited. "The most fulfilling thing about writing that song was the amount of hope it seems to have given a lot of people in times of suffering", Jones says. The song was recorded around Christmas of 1983, which contributed to the inspirational mood. "It all tied in together. It just seemed to have a really good feeling".

Document credits
Thanks to Heather Christine Castillo, who provided the article.

The Band: Articles: "The Top 100: 54. 'I Want To Know What Love Is'"06.03.03
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