Monday, September 4, 2017

"I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  2152
Date:  12/08/1984
Debut:  45
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock



Pop Bits:  In 1981, Foreigner unleashed their fourth album, appropriately titled 4. The LP would be a six-times platinum #1 hit that boasted four Top 30 singles including two Top 10's. They then had the difficult task of following up that career-defining album. Three years later they came up with Agent Provocateur. To introduce the album, this power ballad was released as the first single. It debuted in the top half of the Pop chart and proceeded directly to the #1 spot. It would be their first and only #1 single on the chart. The song would also hit #1 at Rock and #3 AC. It would even briefly cross over to the R&B chart where it got to #85. Foreigner would later earn a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Duo or Group.

ReduxReview:  I have to admit, I thought this was a just a big dump of sentimentality. The more I heard it, the more annoying it got. Because of excessive airplay, I ended up just hating the song. However, it was a near-perfect song for the masses. The dark verse into hopeful chorus, the terrific easy-to-sing hook, the big build, the choir, and Lou Gramm's soulful vocals all worked to sell this song to anyone who would listen. Tons of music artists would have sold their soul to be the writer of this song. I would have too if I didn't have to sing it and was just able to collect all the royalties! Alas, I didn't so I'm just sittin' here bloggin' about it. Therefore, I can say that I still find this song cloying and annoying. I'm glad that it was a hit for the band and that millions of folks love it, but y'all can keep it for yourselves.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1)  The backing vocals on this song were done by the New Jersey Mass Choir. The solo voice was performed by Dreamgirls Tony winner Jennifer Holiday. Tom Bailey from the Thompson Twins contributed keyboard work.  2) This song has been covered by many artists. A few have reached the charts with their takes. The first version to chart came from the New Jersey Mass Choir. After getting exposure via the hit, they recorded their own version, which was mostly marketed to a gospel audience. The single would get to #37 at R&B. Foreigner's Mick Jones, who wrote this song, added a new section and produced the song for Australian singer Tina Arena. It would be a hit in France getting to #13. Country singer Wynonna Judd would do a version in 2004 that got to #14 AC/#12 Dance. In 2009, Mariah Carey would do her take on the song. That single would reach #10 AC, #40 R&B, and #60 Pop. The last artist to get on the Pop chart with the song was singer Terry McDermott. He was the runner-up on the third season of the vocal competition show The Voice in 2012. He sang this song in the show's finale and the single version of it got to #84 on the Pop chart.

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