Elvis Presley was the single most important figure in America in the 20th-century pop music. He may not be the best, nor the most consistent, but no one can deny the fact that he was a musician most responsible for popularizing rock ‘n roll on an international level. He was phenomenal!
One of Elvis’ notable song was “Suspicious Minds,” written and first recorded by American songwriter Mark James, who was also a co-writer of Willie Nelson’s “Always on my Mind.” It became the number one song in 1969. Also, the single was widely regarded as the single that returned his career success.
The story behind the song…
The song centers on a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship. It also laments on the need of the characters involved to deal with their own issues to preserve the relationship. The lyrics and melody gathered one night while James was fooling around his Fender guitar using his Hammon organ pedals. That time, James’ first wife was suspicious of his feeling about his childhood sweetheart. James’ feeling of confusion was then written in a song. He then recorded the song and submitted it to Scepter Records, the label, however, did not have money to promote new artists.
How the song went to Elvis
Presley was working on his album, from Elvis in Memphis, and he booked in James’ studio for recording. James was informed by his friend and asked him to prepare a song that would be right for Presley. James thought “Suspicious Mind” would be the best choice since Presley needed a mature rock ‘n roll song to bring him back into the limelight. Elvis eventually recorded the song and became a monster commercial hit.
Interestingly, Elvis was conscious of having James around during the recording so the latter did his own thing outside the studio. It took eight takes to produce the final song. James was blown away after hearing the final recording of the song.
Las Vegas Witnesses Elvis’ Sexiest
Elvis first performed the song before it was released. In the video below, Elvis’ danced the night away at Las Vegas International Hotel on July 31, 1969, with his “Suspicious Minds” signature move. Enjoy watching!
Elvis Presley, Suspicious Mind