Sunday, July 01, 2007

Records I Can't Stand: 10

Foreigner: I Want To Know What Love Is (Atlantic, 1984)
Robert, obviously, really knows his onions when it comes to music. On the whole, I like whatever it is he plays me but sometimes I think he gets it really, really wrong. He announces a song as 'an absolute classic' when it's clearly really lame. He once had this thing for this shocker of a track by Jo O'Meara - yes, I said Jo O'Meara, though this was before she became a Racist Thug - and played it to everyone who came over. Of course, everyone shook their heads and said they couldn't see the appeal and the song didn't even make the top 100.

Anyway, he loves this awful song. Anyone shed any light on it for me?

16 comments:

Native12 said...

Loved it when I was a kid. A large proportion of the music I liked as a kid suggests a troubled childhood, but it wasn't really!

Heidi said...

I think this song is an absolute classic

dulwichmum said...

This song reminds me of a wonderful summer I had learning a foreign language away from home. I made friends with some kids with long hair and a ghetto blaster, and we lay about in the long grass all summer speaking English. This song reminds me of good times - I was a mod at the time it was out, so I never liked it.

One of the lovely friends I met - Isobel started smoking that sunny summer (I bought her the first pack at her insistance) died of lung cancer a couple of years ago. I went to visit her in a hospice, and she told me that she never liked that song, but I was the only one who ever had the nerve to say it.

Thanks for making me think of lovely Isobel this morning, she died at 33 years old, a lovely smiling troubled friend.

Robert said...

Silvana - I'd like to point out that Heidi is from Finland, a land still locked in 80s Rock, and recently responsible for bringing us Monster Rockers - Lordi. Please ignore her "classic" tag. I'm with you on this one

Valentine Suicide said...

This song 'keeps me warm as life grows colder'. Dreadful.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

With you on this Silvana. Such a whiny song!

bigcuppa said...

Slivana

At last a bit of music we can agree on! Awful, dreary, whiney, pomp-rawk at its worst.

Rob said...

You see, where Heidi and DulwichMum are right and the rest of you are "wrong" - as "wrong" as anyone can be about something as fantastically subjective as music - is that there is nothing "whiny" or pompous or dreadful about this song at all. Although I'm as aware as anyone that our responses to music are almost entirely driven by emotional memory - see DM's comment - I Want To Know... is a great song above and beyond what I might remember about being 14 because what the band were trying to do is make a whole new type of pop music.

Music for grown ups, for people who'd had their heart broken, for people who'd seen, oh yes, both good times and bad. Not for people whose emotional range was limited - by age and experience - to I've Met Someone And They're Nice, Isn't The World Groovy!. The crux of the matter (for me) is this: I believe this song. I believed it when I was 14 and had no idea what they were on abolut and I believe it know when I do. I think they really do want to know what love is. Which is a bit ridiculous in men old enough to have hair-loss problems, but, you know what, that's men. That's what we're like. Whether we have the balls to tell you or not. And I think that if you're not even slightly moved by that gospel choir you have lost a crucial part of your soul, however ludicrous that might sound.

Anyway, it's that sort of rank, laughable gullibility that means I'm doomed to do my job forever while everyone else just gets over it all and moves on :(

I mean, come on!

rilly super said...

I'm with Heidi, This song is second only to John Shuttleworth's 'I can't go back to savoury now' as the all time classic rock anthem.

The Mammary Gland said...

I love this one, I shouldn't but I do.

Rob said...

I consider the above comment to be VINDICATION of the most TOTAL kind... Thanks Stephen!

Anonymous said...

Silvana

You should only start worring when Rob plays you "the Road to Freedom" Chris O'Hara would be proud.

Anonymous said...

Further vindication, if I may be so bold.

In the be-mulleted dead zone that is mid-80's AOR, this song stands out as a rare example of male vulnerability that's just the right side of "overwrought". Everywhere else, it was all "Lick It Up" this or "Slide It In" that, so it could have been far worse. To seal the deal, there's also some gospeltastic ad-libs towards the end, courtesy of the criminally-underrated Jennifer Holiday. A winner, I reckon.

Rob said...

*Surveys domain from moral highground, pats head of passing, friendly lion*

Holy Moly! said...

what hurts the most, is being so close.

Rob said...

"... And havin' so much to say
And watchin' you walk away..."

*collapses*