I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on February 2nd of 1985 Foreigner reaches #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart with “I Want To Know What Love Is”. Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones wrote this song. He told us: “‘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.” Jones’ relationship that sparked the song was with his then future wife Ann Dexter-Jones. Ann Dexter-Jones had previously been married to Laurence Ronson, a music publisher who discovered the British group Bucks Fizz. Their oldest child is the successful producer Mark Ronson, the man behind Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album. Jones raised Ronson from the age of 7, providing a rich musical environment that led to his success. The New Jersey Mass Choir was brought in to sing the backing vocals. It was their first performance in a recording studio. The New Jersey Mass Choir released its own version of the song, which peaked at #37. Most of Foreigner’s songs were co-written by Jones and their lead singer Lou Gramm, but this was a solo composition for Jones, and a song that was not met with enthusiasm by Gramm, who felt it might push the band into adult contemporary territory and away from their rock base. Jones spoke to Billboard magazine about Lou Gramm’s reservations over this song: “If you look at our whole history, each album had a couple of ballads on it. I think that Lou aired his opinion about it at the time, and that’s what led to people jumping on it as a reason for our differences. But I can never really think that having a worldwide #1 song would be detrimental to a band.”The song also topped the Uk Singles Chart.