Billboard #1 Hits: #221: “Suspicious Minds”- Elvis Presley. November 1, 1969. #1 for 1 week.

  • Single:”Suspicious Minds”- Elvis Presley
  • Record Company- RCA Victor
  • Genre: Rock
  • Written by-Mark James
  • Time: 2:47
  • B-side: “A Taste Of Heaven”
  • Album- From Elvis In Memphis
  • Grade: A+
  • Peaked at #1 1 week on Billboard Hot 100. #2 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, South Africa.

Elvis had 18 #1 hits in his career- but he only had 1 after “Good Luck Charm” in early 1962- and that one was “Suspicious Minds”- his big comeback single in 1969. A number of factors came into this lack of success the biggest in the 1960’s being his lack of recording quality material. It’s easy to blame his manager Col. Thomas Parker a real scumbaggington would would insist on publishing rights to the songs Elvis recorded from songwriters. Of course there were scores of writers who would have loved to have a song of theirs recorded by Elvis but the smart ones- and the best ones refused Parker’s demand so throughout the 60’s Elvis was recording second or third class material for the most part. Imagine if say in 1968 Elvis had called The Beatles up and asked them if they would write him a few songs- they would have done it no question- Elvis was their hero. But they weren’t going to work under Col. Parker’s rules. Another factor of course the changing of the times. The Beatles and the British invasion were the new thing. Growing up I knew of the Elvis of the 1950’s and that he was an historically important artist and I had heard those great old hits but to me he was a relic of the past even though he wasn’t that old he seemed old- and where he had once seemed dangerous- he seemed pretty tamed and old fashioned to me in the early to mid 70’s. When Elvis died he was 42 to me at sixteen he seemed irrelevant. A spent force. John Lennon famously said at the time “Elvis died when he went into the army.” As far as Col. Parker goes I forgot to note it’s easy to blame him but Elvis wasn’t a child. He should have stood up to the man. For the most part he didn’t. In the late 60’s early 70’s he did have a creative burst where he got good material and “Suspicious Minds” is a great example of what he could do when given a good song.


  1. Totally agree with your take about this being an example of what he was still capable of later in his career. Lennon was close to being right. So much of his talent and so many of his years were squandered. I love the way the song fades in and out at the end, and the band and arrangement are just killer on this. Best song he did after the very early rockers (mostly the 1956 stuff), IMO. In the 1979 Kurt Russell “Elvis” movie, the scenes surrounding the recording of “Suspicious Minds” were outstanding.

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