Last year I covered 1968- the music and the events of the year. Now moving on to 1969 which was fifty years ago. It was another great year musically- my goal here is to feature a new song from that year -every day of the year. A lot of great songs to cover- some will be very well known- some more obscure.
Starting the new year off with The King- Elvis Presley and his big hit Suspicious Minds. Suspicious Minds was written and first recorded by Mark James. Mark James would also be one of the writers of Always On My Mind- most famously covered by Willie Nelson and also by Elvis. James also wrote Hooked On A Feeling which was a hit for BJ Thomas and then by Blue Swede. After Suspicious Minds failed the song was given to Elvis to do by producer Chip Moman.
Suspicious Minds was written by Mark James from a real life experience. James was married to his first wife at the time but still had feelings for an old sweetheart who was also married back in his native Houston. James wife had her suspicions of his feelings and James felt that the three of them ‘were caught in this trap that they couldn’t walk out of.”
In the second half of Elvis Presley’s career Suspicious Minds is probably his most famous song- it was his eighteenth and final #1 hit single in his career and was following his big 1968 Comeback Special on television- his big comeback hit single. The song was recorded by Elvis on January 23, 1969 between 4 AM and 7 AM at American Sound Studio in Elvis’s Memphis, Tennessee. Chip Moman and Felton Jarvis were the producers. The original version done by Mark James was 2:47 in length- Elvis’ version would come in at 4:22. Although recorded in January it wouldn’t be released until seven months later on August 26, 1969.
One of the memorable moments in the song come late in the song when producer Jarvis decided to prematurely fade the song out for 15 seconds before fading it back in.
Suspicious Minds would spend 1 week – the week of November 1, 1969 at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would also be a #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, and South Africa. It would just fall short of #1 in the UK- peaking at #2.
Suspicious Minds would later be covered- and covered well by the Fine Young Cannibals in 1986- it was a #8 UK hit and by Dwight Yoakam a #35 US Country Hit in 1992. It has also been covered by countless other artists. In the UK in 2002 a runner up on the Pop Idol television show Gareth Gates released a single of Suspicious Minds that went to #1 in the UK. No matter how many artists cover this song- it remains Elvis’s song.