FOREIGNER "I Want To Know What Love Is"

By Mark Nobes, chief editor

One of the most haunting tracks from the 80s, "I Want To Know What Love Is" was Foreigner's most successful single. Released in late 1984, and the first track from the album Agent Provocateur, this song made #1 for three weeks in the UK from 19th January 1985.

Foreigner were much more successful in America than in the UK, but still managed five top 40 hit singles during the 70s and 80s in the UK. Agent Provocateur was the band's fifth studio album and made #1 in the UK album charts (#4 in the U.S.) and the only album to reach Platinum status. However, in the U.S. it was the fifth album to go multi-Platinum.

The UK 12" vinyl included the Extended Version on the A-side, with the B-side featuring two tracks "Street Thunder" and "Urgent".

The song was written and composed by the band's guitarist and founding member Mick Jones. Production was by Alex Sadkin, who also produced numerous songs and albums for many well-known 80s artists, including the first two albums for Thompson Twins - keyboards were played on "I Want To Know What Love Is" by their frontman Tom Bailey.
The song also reached No.1 in the U.S., replacing Madonna's "Like A Virgin" on February 2nd 1985. It was a chart-topper in Australia (for five weeks), Canada, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.
Backing vocals were provided by the New Jersey Mass Choir, who also released the song as a single.
The B-side featured an instrumental track entitled "Street Thunder (Marathon Theme)".
One of the most recent covers was by Kenny Chesney for his country music album Cosmic Hallelujah in 2016.

Studio Album Discography

1977  Foreigner  -
1978  Double Vision  #32
1979  Head Games  -
1981  4  #5
1984  Agent Provocateur  #1
1987  Inside Information  #64
1991  Unusual Heat  #56
1994  Mr. Moonlight  #59
2009  Can't Slow Down  #105
2011  Acoustique  -

UK highest album chart positions are shown

Agent Provocateur album sleeve - Foreigner
Agent Provocateur

Released on 5th November 1984, Foreigner's fifth studio album was their most successful n the UK, topping the UK album charts and achieving a Platinum sales certificate. The album features a mix of pop rock (with lots of 80s style power drums and synths) and emotionally charged ballads.


I Want To Know What Love Is  #1
That Was Yesterday  #78
Reaction To Action  -
Growing Up The Hard Way  -
Down To Love  -