I Want to Know What Love Is Lyrics – Foreigner Meaning

Foreigner fans may not agree with this opinion, but many music lovers consider the ballad I Want to Know What Love Is (“I want to know what love is”) the calling card of the legendary rock band. Agree, the song is known even by those to whom the name of the group does not mean anything.

Let’s remember how I Want to Know What Love Is was written and to whom it is dedicated.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song I Want to Know What Love Is

Most of the group’s compositions were written by Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, but Gramm hardly took part in the composition of I Want to Know What Love Is. (Although Lou later claimed he relinquished the authorship due to Mick’s greed, who was only willing to give him 5% of the royalties.)

They say that at first Gramm took it without enthusiasm, believing that it takes them away from pure rock into the category of the so-called “modern music for adults” (adult contemporary).

Here’s what Mick Jones had to say about the history of the song:

I Want to Know What Love Is began, to a large extent, as something personal. I went through many different romances that fell apart over time, but I’m still looking for something that could really last. And all this began to take on a life of its own. It has become more than a universal feeling. During the recording I changed things all the time and eventually added a gospel choir. And you know, I suddenly realized that I had written an almost spiritual song, almost a gospel song. Sometimes it feels like you didn’t do anything yourself. You just write everything down on paper or compose a melody that expresses the meaning of the song, its mood.

Many fans of the band believe that Mick Jones drew inspiration for the creation of I Want to Know What Love Is from his relationship with his future wife, Ann Dexter-Jones.

Recording and release

The song featured the New Jersey Consolidated Gospel Choir, who also appeared in the music video for I Want to Know What Love Is. Jones later spoke of their collaboration as follows:

I will never forget how they stood in a circle before the start, and each offered a prayer to the Lord.

I Want to Know What Love Is was released as the first single from Agent Provocateur (1984). The song topped the charts in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and some other countries.

In Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, it is ranked 479th. I Want to Know What Love Is is also one of VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s.

Clip I Want to Know What Love Is

Watch the video clip of I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner.

Cover versions

I Want to Know What Love Is was performed by Mariah Carey, Diana Ross and other famous artists.

Interesting Facts

  • The song is featured in the computer game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
  • I Want to Know What Love Is can be heard in various films and television series (Quantum Leap, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and others).
  • For the film “Rock of Ages” (2012), the song was performed by Tom Cruise and Malin Akerman.

I Want to Know What Love Is Lyrics

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 a world upon my shoulders
And 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 wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna 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

I Want to Know What Love Is

I need some time,
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
Suddenly need it when I get older

Now I have to climb this mountain
It seems like the whole world is on my shoulders
And through the clouds I see the light of love
He keeps me warm when life gets colder

My life has been suffering and pain
I’m not sure if I can take them again
I can’t stop now ’cause 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 going to take a break
Pause to look around
There’s nowhere left for me to hide
Seems like love finally found me

Song quote

It’s easy to see why it became the first Foreigners single to top the charts. Its dreamy, hypnotic vibe comes in part from a soulful performance by Lou Gramm and backing vocals from the New Jersey Consolidated Gospel Choir.

Bret Adams, Allmusic

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