When a band already has a long list of chart-topping hits, having one that stands out as the most successful by far is quite a feat. British-American pop/rock act Foreigner had been successful out of the gate in the mid-1970s, with hits like “Cold As Ice” and “Feels Like the First Time” propelling their very first album to Platinum status. But when “I Want to Know What Love Is” (from the album Agent Provocateur) hit the radio in late 1984, it made all their previous successes pale in comparison.
Indeed, the song’s haunting lyrics (one of Lou Gramm’s most powerful vocal performances) and the choir driven chorus appeared to strike a nerve all over the world. Not only was it the first Number 1 hit for Foreigner in the U.S., but in several other countries as well, making the band a global sensation and garnering their third Grammy nomination.
In some respects, “I Want To Know What Love Is” also represented a peaking for the band; although they charted several more times, they never released another hit to match it. Even so, Foreigner deserves some respect. While most people still associate them as a band of the 70’s and 80’s, and despite a revolving-door lineup, they have never actually broken up and are still recording and filling auditoriums. And there’s this: with over 80 million records sold, they remain one of the top-selling bands of all time.