Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds

This one is probably my favorite of the after Army Elvis songs.  Colonel Parker had no qualms about pushing Elvis to the middle of the road. This one has some bite and is a great song. Elvis had 7 number 1 hits in the Billboard 100 total…this is his last one in his career. I actually thought he had more but he did place 109 songs in the top 100 and 25 top ten hits. Suspicious Minds peaked at #1 in 1969.

Elvis’ publishing company, along with his manager Colonel Tom Parker, tried to get fifty percent of the publishing rights to this song and threatened to stop the recording if they didn’t. Elvis insisted on recording the song regardless.

This was a big comeback song for Elvis. It was seven years since his last #1 hit.

From Songfacts

Memphis singer Mark James and Chips Moman wrote this. James recorded and released his own version, but it didn’t go anywhere. Memphis Soul producer Chips Moman brought this to Presley in 1969, and Elvis immediately fell in love with it and decided he could turn it into a hit, even though it had flopped for James.

This was recorded between 4-7 in the morning, during the landmark Memphis session that helped Elvis reclaim his title of “The King.”

This song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Artists to cover this song include Dwight Yoakam, Waylon Jennings, The Heptones, Candi Staton (#31 UK), B.J. Thomas and even The Fine Young Cannibals, whose 1985 version not only hit #8 in the UK, but was bizarrely referenced on the American TV show Psych, when Shawn tells his partner Gus: “Don’t be Fine Young Cannibals cover of ‘Suspicious Minds.’ We’re going to find her.”

In the UK, Elvis had a hit with this song three times. First in 1969 when it was originally released, then in 2001 when a live version recorded at The International Hotel, Las Vegas, in August 1970 was issued and went to #15, then in 2007 when it was re-issued to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death, going to #11.

Dennis Quaid and Elizabeth Mitchell dance to this in the 2000 sci-fi drama Frequency.

According to Elvis’ good friend Marty Lacker, who convinced him to record in Memphis with Chips Moman, the song’s fake ending was a result of tampering by Elvis’ longtime producer Felton Jarvis. “When Chips cut ‘Suspicious Minds’ and mixed it, the fade and bump at the end was not there,” Lacker told Goldmine magazine. “In other words, the song fades out and then it bumps up again. It’s that part where Elvis is just repeating and repeating the last chorus. In my opinion, it might be good for the stage, a dramatic thing, but it’s not good on a record. What happened was Felton Jarvis took the master to Nashville and started fooling with it thinking he could do better. And he couldn’t. He should have left it alone. He added background voices. The voices that Chips put on in Memphis, Mary Green and all those people, they’re fantastic southern sounding R&B-ish singers. Chips used them on a lot of the hits he had.”

Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter first covered this in 1970 and landed at #25 on the country chart. Their version was re-released to promote the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country album certified Platinum, with more than a million records sold. This time, the single peaked at #2 and earned the couple a Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Suspicious Minds

We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Why can’t you see
What you’re doing to me
When you don’t believe a word I say?

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds (suspicious minds)
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds

So, if an old friend I know
Stops by to say hello
Would I still see suspicion in your eyes?

Here we go again
Asking where I’ve been
You can’t see these tears are real
I’m crying (Yes I’m crying)

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds (suspicious minds)
And be can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds

Oh let our love survive
Or dry the tears from your eyes
Let’s don’t let a good thing die
When honey, you know
I’ve never lied to you
Mmm yeah, yeah

We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Why can’t you see
What you’re doing to me
When you don’t believe a word I say?

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Don’t you know I’m caught in a trap

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

65 thoughts on “Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds”

    1. The more I get into the next book the more Parker gripes me. I also have had an old documentary called “Elvis: All The Kings Men” forever but never watched it…I did last night…it’s basically the Memphis mafia guys sitting around talking…most of it is good funny info… but it does get serious.
      They do say Elvis wanted a world tour bad…but of course Parker wouldn’t do it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will look for that doc. Yes Parker wouldn’t- couldn’t do a World Tour- the truth would come out! Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk;

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is true! Him saying he was from West Virginia and all of that. He had to be hiding something or he would have became legal.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Elvis of course could have controlled his own fate by getting rid of the colonel- he has to be held accountable in a lot of ways for what happened but each Beatle had 3 others going through the same thing- Elvis had Elvis- I can’t say i would have handled his life any better than he did.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. All of that thrown at him…yes the strain would have been huge.
        I do understand why he stayed at Graceland…it was a safe bubble. He supposedly fired him at least one time but Vernon got cold feet.
        Do you think it would have been possible for him to go out like Lennon did? On the streets of anywhere…but Memphis of course.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I think John was able to pull that off in the 70’s because it was New York and because he didn’t seem to be drawing attention to himself- I can’t see Elvis walking down the street dressed in any way that wouldn’t be drawing attention to himself.. In volume 2 Elvis seems like a pretty lonely guy. I think losing his mother when he did- was the pivotal moment in his life.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It really was and he started to become possessive with not just women but his friends. In some ways he was very rational and other times he was a man child almost…which I guess we all can be at that age but no one would confront him much about it.
        I don’t think he ever got over his mom though.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I haven’t read those books sine they came out in the 90’s I need to read them again. He needed someone who would stand up to him- and he needed to accept that criticism. Everyone knew you cross Elvis and you are gone… I think The Beatles as individuals even seemed to have something in their make up which gave them more confidence and they handled it better. Elvis seemed to lose his way..

        Liked by 1 person

      8. The Beatles tried drugs of course but yes their makeup helped…they were more street smart I would say.
        Elvis made it quicker than they did. The Beatles gradually built from Hamburg, Liverpool, Hamburg, Liverpool and then Epstein had them going out little by little. They really built an audience. Elvis never really performed that much before his first record…That I didn’t know.
        The two that did stand up to Elvis the most he dumped and out came Elvis What Happened?

        Liked by 1 person

      9. The three individual stars not counting The Beatles who had to deal with the megastardom- Frank- Elvis- Michael- not that Frank was perfect he was far from perfect but he is the only one who came out at the end and handled it ok– the Elvis and Michael we of course know how that turned out.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I was going to ask you about Frank…obviously he didn’t die early but I didn’t know how bad or good he was…or about drugs and alcohol.
        From not reading about him and just reading articles…the guy seemed intimidating.

        I will get to him one day with a book.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. There is a two volume on Frank by James Kaplan that came out in the last decade- The Voice and The Chairman- that are very down the middle even handed books probably the best on him. He was human- he made mistakes like we all do and had his ups and downs but overall I got the impression he handled his fame well.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Thanks for the recommendation. I like having books in the pipeline. I still that Vince Lombardi book waiting.
        Frank was an interesting character from what I’ve seen and what little I read.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Have to wonder- what would Elvis’s career and life been like if he had a Brian Epstein type managing him- someone who cared for him as an individual. Sure Brian made his share of business mistakes but he was always trying to do his best for The Beatles- to Col. Parker- Elvis was just a money making machine. I think under better – and more caring management Elvis would have been a lot more successful in the 60’s and 70’s and would have lived a much longer life. Col. Parker did him no favors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do think he would have lived longer. His last two tours…he had no business being out there for them…Parker had to know that but Elvis truly was worth more to him dead than alive in someways. I’m not saying he was trying to kill him but Elvis should not have been touring and being filmed in that condition.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. He didn’t deliberately kill him he just didn’t care very much- he was product and he needed to be out there earning The Colonel his money… Although it couldn’t have happened- Elvis would have been better off just saying in Memphis with Mr. Sam and not becoming what he became. Little Richard once said he was going to call his autobiography – I Got What I Wanted But Lost What I Had– that is the Elvis story also.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I never knew why Elvis didn’t stay until this book. Like I said I never knew a lot about him. I get it now why Sam did what he did. Too bad Sam didn’t offer to manage him… Not Sam’s fault because he had a record company to run.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Elvis had to go-but i think he would have had a much better life had he made those records at sun and was just a minor star–but who am I to say. I wonder if he ever in his mind had those kinds of thoughts? Probably not.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You have to wonder what he thought. He was the most popular man in the world but lonely…Sam was straight up with him and would have at least been honest and he cared.

        What also surprised me also was that he started to take uppers that early…ironically it started in Germany.

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    1. Yes it really kicks…it’s a good quality written song… There is a live Springsteen bootleg cover on youtube that really kicks in…he really uses dynamics really well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I almost forgot about Elvis’ song ‘Promised Land’. That’s probably an equal fave of mine from his later career. I’ll never forget when that song got played in the movie Men in Black. I laughed so hard.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes Promised Land is great. He took that up a level from Chuck I have to admit.
        Yes I remember it in Men in Black now…the tunnel scene!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the best songs of the 60s, and easily my favorite of Elvis’. Don’t know which version I like best, rare in that all the covers (at least Candi Staton, Fine Young Cannibals and Chris Isaak come to mind) are great as well. Like you’ve said above, a great talent who could’ve probably done more with better people around him. [I would’ve guessed ‘Burnin’ Love’ to be his last #1 but I see that only hit #2’\]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ” 109 songs in the top 100 and 25 top ten hits” boggles my mind. Enjoyable discussion on here about The King. As Jim said, there is only one Elvis. I remember how much I liked this song when it first came out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree…I’m going through an Elvis phase…reading a couple of books about him…I like his 50s stuff a lot but this song is just great. One of his best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will thank you. I’ve been pulling up any documentary I could find about him and his Memphis mafia buddies.
        I just looked it up…it looks great.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just watched the first one…wow…they got it right. The Colonel is who I thought he was…very shortsighted and helped make Elvis irrelevant in the 1960s with those movies and soundtracks…. I’m going to finish the second one this weekend.

        Thank you again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes because the Colonel was not an American Citizen and was afraid he couldn’t get back in…plus he didn’t want people to influence Elvis outside his reach. I started the second one and will finish it probably tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I finished watching it this past weekend…and I watched the second part twice. GREAT recommendation and thank you again. I was going to post about it but I want to make sure you didn’t have plans to post about it soon..if so I won’t.
        It was very even-handed…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. OH MY. I just listened to B.J. Thomas’ version. I had no idea. And, I listened to Mark James’ version. It’s not bad at all. Thomas’ version…the music more closely resembles James’. Here’s a schizophrenic thought…I like B.J.’s singing better but, prefer Elvis’ music & background singers. My love for B.J. Thomas is right up there with Elvis.

        Thanks for the info!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dwight Yoakam’s is not bad either…. and I know he is not your favorite…but Springsteen kicks a lot of life into it… its a bootleg but he uses dynamics perfectly.

        Like

      3. Yoakam’s is the perfect country version and I love, love, love that break in his voice (natural yodel?). My voice breaks in a similar manner between (contr)alto & (mezzo)soprano II (drives me crazy). I can actually mimic Anita Darian in “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in my high range and can sing Darius Rucker’s range in “Let Her Cry” in the low range. I get gravel in the middle. *eyes rolling*

        Springsteen’s was OK. I didn’t want to stick pencils in my ears or anything like that. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We played it live one time and I made everyone go by the Springsteen version because…bass, drums and guitars…no backup singers…his arrangement is more like a bar band arrangement.

        I sound like a mixture between… Petty, Fogerty, Dylan all trying to sound like Van Morrison…I can do a good Mick.

        The Lion Sleeps tonight would be impossible for me for sure.

        Like

      5. The one I want to sound like more than anyone would be Van but he is too good. I’m not a singer. When our singer quit I got voted and got us through bars. They were drunk so…
        lol

        Like

      6. I don’t know about that. I have songs recorded but I’m getting our singer to go over my vocals. I have them in sound cloud. When I remix them I’ll send you a link…give you a good laugh lol…but the singer Mark can really sing well.

        Like

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