Foreigner - Agent Provocateur
Foreigner - Agent Provocateur

Foreigner - Agent Provocateur

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Agent Provocateur is the fifth studio album by American/British rock band Foreigner, released on November 5, 1984. The album was the band's first and only number one album in the UK, and it reached the top 5 in the U.S. Although album sales were lower than their previous work in the U.S., it contains the band's biggest hit single, "I Want to Know What Love Is", which is their only #1 single in the UK and the U.S., staying at the top spot for three and two weeks respectively. The follow-up single, "That Was Yesterday", also proved to be a sizeable hit, peaking at #12 in the U.S. The album was certified Platinum in the UK by the BPI, and triple Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.

AllMusic Review by  

It took Foreigner three years to release a follow-up to its 1981 blockbuster, 4. Perhaps that wait wasn't long enough, because Agent Provocateur is a prime example of the best and worst traits of AOR: a handful of remarkable songs padded by toothless filler. Despite contributing a few killer riffs toForeigner's '70s canon, guitarist/keyboardist Mick Jones isn't known for his six-string abilities. His biggest strength is his knack for melody as a songwriter, keyboardist, and producer, and all these qualities are evident on Agent Provocateur. Of course, vocalist/songwriter Lou Gramm is indispensable as the band's golden-throated frontman. Jones largely guided things behind the studio console, but a co-producer usually helped, such as Alex Sadkin on this album. "I Want to Know What Love Is" becameForeigner's first and only number one single, and it's not hard to see why. Its dreamy, hypnotic feel is due in part to Gramm's soulful lead vocals and the New Jersey Mass Choir's background vocals.Jennifer Holliday and the Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey help out as well. "That Was Yesterday," a terrific hit single, features a catchy chorus and a nifty synthesizer lick. "Reaction to Action" and "Down on Love" were both minor hits, but there's a huge difference in quality between the two; the former is the epitome of bland, formulaic AOR, while the latter includes a pleasant chorus and a warm keyboard melody. "A Love in Vain" and "Growing Up the Hard Way" have a few good moments too.

Tracklist

A1 Tooth And Nail 3:54
A2 That Was Yesterday 3:46
A3 I Want To Know What Love Is 4:58
A4 Growing Up The Hard Way 4:18
A5 Reaction To Action 3:57
B1 Stranger In My Own House 4:54
B2 A Love In Vain 4:12
B3 Down On Love 4:08
B4 Two Different Worlds 4:28
B5 She's Too Tough 3:07