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"Suspicious Minds" is a song about being trapped in a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship. Originally, and most notably, a hit for Elvis Presley in 1969, "Suspicious Minds" was widely regarded as the single that jump-started Presley's career after his successful '68 Comeback Special. It was his eighteenth and last number-one single in the United Statesmarker. Rolling Stone later ranked it #91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Song

Written by Mark James aka Francis Zambon in 1968, who was also co-writer of "Always On My Mind", which Elvis would later record, the song first was recorded and released by James. Even though James' recording initially was not commercially successful, Elvis decided he could turn it into a hit on reviewing the song as presented to him by Memphis Soul producer Chips Moman, owner of American Sound Studio, in 1969.

Presley recorded "Suspicious Minds" along with at least another two hit singles—"In the Ghetto" and "Kentucky Rain"—in the so-called "Memphis sessions" of February 1969 at American Sound Studio. He first performed the song at the Las Vegas Hiltonmarker on July 31, 1969, and the 45 rpm single was released in the fall. It reached number one in the United States in the week of November 1 and stayed there for that week. It would be Presley's final number-one single in the U.S. before his death ("The Wonder of You" in 1970, "Way Down" in 1977 and a posthumous remixed release of "A Little Less Conversation" in 2002 all hit number one on the British charts, followed by re-issues of several previous chart toppers in 2005). Mark James' version of the song appears as the last song on the 1970 record entitled Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head by B. J. Thomas.

Future Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux sang backing vocals on the track.

This song is part of the soundtrack for 2001's Black Hawk Down. It also plays over the opening credits to the Coen Bros. film Intolerable Cruelty.

Notable in this song is a fadeout at about 3:52 into the song, which lasts for about 15 seconds before fading back in. This fadeout was intentional, as it helped convey a message of relationship in the song.

It is also the sole Elvis Presley track that was released by Time-Life in the 1997 6-CD boxed set, "Gold And Platinum: The Ultimate Rock Collection".

Cover versions

Dee Dee Warwick, Dionne's sister, covered "Suspicious Minds" while Elvis Presley's version was still on the charts. Warwick's version was a minor U.S. hit, peaking at #80 in 1970.

Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter recorded the song for RCA in 1970. Their version reached No. 25 on the Billboard country chart in November of that year. The Jennings-Colter version was re-released by RCA in 1976, topping out at No. 2, and was included on the ground-breaking album Wanted! The Outlaws that same year.

Candi Staton had a No. 31 UK hit with her revival in 1982.

Gary Glitter recorded the song with The British Electric Foundation (Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17), which was released in 1982 on the B.E.F. album Music of Quality and Distinction Volume One.

In 1986, the band Fine Young Cannibals' cover version of the song, which featured backing vocals by Jimmy Somerville, reached #8 on the UK Singles chart. Six years later, country singer Dwight Yoakam recorded his own version of the song for the soundtrack to the movie Honeymoon in Vegas, as well as a video. It was later released on his compilation album The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam.

In 1999, the punk rock band Avail covered the song for the compilation album Return of the Read Menace.

In 2001 Robbie Williams covered the song a number of times on television, such as on Later with Jools Holland and Top of the Pops. Throughout 2001–2002, the progressive rock band Tool occasionally added lyrics from "Suspicious Minds" into their live performance of the song "Stinkfist".

In 2002, Gareth Gates released his remake as a single from his debut album What My Heart Wants to Say. This version, charted as a double A-side with his duet with Will Young on "The Long and Winding Road," hit number one on the UK Singles Chart.

In 2003, Pete Yorn recorded two versions, a "Dawn Version" and a "Dusk Version" on a two-track promotional CD. He also released a live cover of the song on his 2004 album Live from New Jersey.

The song provides the soundtrack to the shower love scene with Richard Gere and Valérie Kaprisky in the 1983 film Breathless.

Bowling for Soup has also recorded a cover of this, although it was released only as a B-side.

Throughout their career, the American rock band Phish occasionally covered the song, as has No Doubt.

Mark Eitzel's album Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby takes its name from the song's opening line.

Yonder Mountain String Band frequently covers the song live.

The song was also covered by the Martin Kitcher Band for the charity Julia's House in the UK.

Colton Berry performed "Suspicious Minds" on Season 7 of American Idol during the top 24 performances. It was released for download from the iTunes store on February 20 2008.

The Italian band Elio e le Storie Tese released in 2008 a song called "Ignudi fra i Nudisti" (Naked Among Nudists), included in their studio album Studentessi. The music is a complete reverse version of "Suspicious Minds" so this song is probably the first "coverse" in history.

Clay Aiken covered "Suspicious Minds" during his 'Elvis Set' while on his Jukebox Tour,the summer of 2005. Clay performed the song during a visit to Good Morning America during the tour and a reviewer wrote: "Clay Aiken does Elvis better than Elvis!"

The band Phish performed Suspicious Minds in Las Vegas NV, the concert was turned into an album called 'Vegas 96.'

Indie rock band The Flaming Lips performed a cover on the BBC special Elvis Cover Story.

In 2007, popular Greek singer Sakis Rouvas covered the original Elvis version for the soundtrack of his début film, Alter Ego. A music video was also released to promote both the film and its soundtrack, while the song was also first performed in concert by Rouvas on September 9, 2007 at Lycabetus Theatre, which was recorded for his live album This Is My Live.

Miss Kittin and The Hacker recorded a version for their 2009 album Two.

Celtic Rock Band Blaggards cover the song on their debut album 'Standards.'

The Irish Punk band The Defects released a cover version on their 3rd and final EP of the same name in 1983.

Ronan Keating covered the song on his 2009 album Songs for My Mother.

The jam band Rusted Root covered the song on their 2009 album Stereo Rodeo.

Michelle Branch performed this song during an appearance on Good Morning America in June 2003.

Belle and Sebastian covered the song live.

References

  1. Habell-Pallan, Michelle. The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Reader.Published 2006. ISBN 0415235162
  2. Weiss, Adrienne. Awful Gestures. Published 2001 by Insomniac Press. ISBN 1894663128
  3. Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley Songfacts. Obtained February 23, 2008.
  4. Creswell, Toby. 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them. Published 2006 by Thunder's Mouth Press ISBN 1560259159
  5. Introducing Elvis – IT Chapter 1 page 21 – media.wiley –
  6. Library of Congress Online Catalog LCCN Permalink. Raindrops keep fallin' on my head. Accessed February 23, 2008.
  7. [1]
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