This was a commercial disappointment; even though it features some excellent change-of-pace cuts and other tunes with fine lyrics and good stories, it lacked a breakout radio hit for American audiences seeking another "Private Dancer" or "What's Love Got To Do With It." It was also a less unified, more diverse work thematically, as reflected by the fact songs from Foreign Affair ended up on rock, dance, adult contemporary and R&B charts. "I Don't Wanna Lose You," one of her few tender/sentimental numbers, displayed a vulnerability Turner often avoided, as did "Look Me In The Heart." She did a couple of Tony Joe White numbers, the best being "Steamy Windows," a throwback tune to the earlier R&B-tinged years. "Falling Like Rain" and "Be Tender With Me Baby" were two more numbers a lot softer in tone and sensibility than usually the case for Turner during the '80s.
She didn't completely abandon aggressive, surging material. "The Best" was the type of confident, animated number (co-written by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman) that had become a patented part of her sound. Turner's crackling manner and swaggering delivery elevated rather routine lyrics and a decent, though not spectacular arrangement. White's "Foreign Affair" had nice verbal byplay and another energetic Turner performance. Special guests included saxophonist Edgar Winter, guitarist/keyboardist Dan Hartman, Mark Knopfler again on guitar and White helping out on guitar, harmonica and synthesizers. It didn't do that well on these shores, but Foreign Affair was a big hit overseas, particularly in England (her first No. 1 LP there). Listening to the LP again today, it sounds like Turner wanted to end what had been an amazing and hectic decade with a restrained, subtle work.