♫ I Want To Know What Love Is ♫

I was just scrolling around tonight, fists still clenched from writing about Stephen Moore for my a.m. post, and looking for something that I hadn’t heard in a while, something to give my mind a reset before bedtime in hopes that I might sleep without the night terrors that have plagued me lately, and I came across this by Foreigner.

Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones wrote this song.

“‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ started off on more of a personal level. I’d been through a lot of relationships that eventually failed, and still searching for something that could really endure. And that sort of took a life of its own as well. It became more of a universal feeling. I adjusted that during the recording of it, and ended up putting a gospel choir on it. And you know, realized suddenly that I’d written almost a spiritual song, almost a gospel song. Sometimes, you feel like you had nothing to do with it, really. You’re just putting it down on paper, or coming up with a melody that will bring the meaning of the song out, bring the emotion out in the song.”

According to SongFacts …

Foreigner recorded for Atlantic Records, and their 1981 album 4 spent more weeks at #1 than any album released by the label. Ahmet Ertegun, who was the head of Atlantic, cried when he first heard this song. Mick Jones explains: “Part of my dream at the beginning was to be on Atlantic Records, because of the heritage: all the R&B stars of the ’50s, people like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. It meant so much to me and my growing up in music. So it meant a lot to have Ahmet Ertegun, who had been a part of that magical era and a person who I respected and looked up to, come into the studio. I took him aside and I said, ‘I have a song to play you, Ahmet.’ I took him into the studio, and we just sat there in two chairs, and I put the song on. Halfway through I looked over and indeed, there were tears coming out of his eyes. I thought, Whoa, this is a major moment for me. I’ve been able to impress this man who has heard some of the best, and produced some of the best music in the world. And here he is, and I’ve reached him emotionally. By the end of the song we were both in tears. Wonderful moments like that, they’re just very meaningful.”

I Wanna Know What Love Is
Foreigner

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
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

Let’s talk about love, I want to know what love is
The love that you feel inside, I want you to show me
And I’m feeling so much love, I want to feel what love is
No, you just can’t hide, I know you can show me
I want to know what love is (let’s talk about love), I know you can show me
I want to feel it too, I want to feel what love is
I want to feel it too, and I know and I know, I know you can show me
Show me love is real, yeah, I want to know what love is

Songwriters: Michael Leslie Jones
I Wanna Know What Love Is lyrics © Somerset Songs Publishing Inc

21 thoughts on “♫ I Want To Know What Love Is ♫

  1. When this song came out, I was so surprised, as it’s not the usual Foreigner fare. But it’s such a sweeping, heartfelt song, especially when reinforced with the choir. BTW, Jennifer Holliday was part of that powerful vocal mix.

    The song came out while my wife and I were stationed at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, with the Air Force. We were rotating home at the end of the year, back to America after four years in the far east. For some reason, the song’s impact seemed magnified for me with returning to America.

    Agent Provocateur, the album with this song, was one of the first CDs I bought after arriving in America and flying to San Antonio, where we bought a new car. A snowstorm hit and I-10 was closed, so we drove east on the Interstate’s access roads. If you’ve ever been in that area of Texas, the access roads are decent and parallel the highway. We drove for hundreds of miles before finally getting onto the Interstate. We listened to Foreigner, Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A.), and Toto IV. It’s a great memory for us. Our car was a new 1985 Mazda RX-7, a small coupe. Besides ourselves, we were transporting the two cats we’d acquired on Okinawa.

    Thanks for stirring thoughts of a happier time. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on 1EarthUnited and commented:
    Mmm, a classic power ballad. Doesn’t get much better than this.
    ♪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♪
    Who writes like this anymore, with deep feeling, solemnity, emotions. ❤

    Like

  3. Jill, great song. The lead singer, I think his name is Lou Gramm, has an ideal voice for this song. I remember Foreigner playing it at one of the music award shows and a huge choir came out to sing the chorus at the end. It was memorable. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds memorable … the sort of thing that brings a tear to my eyes. Your tastes in music are more diverse than mine, so I have a question … how do you feel about Nine Inch Nails?

      Like

    • Glad you liked it, soul sister! I told Mary the other day that if I ever get down to Florida, we’re gonna have a get-together … me, you, Gronda, Horty, Mary, Don, Larry … a whole big bunch of us!

      Like

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