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"Suspicious Minds" was written and originally recorded by Mark James in 1968. James' version of the song did not chart, however, in 1969, Elvis Presley was presented with the opportunity to record the song at the suggestion of Chips Moman -a soul producer based in Memphis, TN. What transpired would be known in music history as the "Memphis Sessions." It was these recording sessions, held in January of 1969, between the hours of 4 and 7am, where Elvis recorded "Suspicious Minds", "In the Ghetto", and "Kentucky Rain" with Moman and Felton Jarvis.
These sessions, along with the "68 Comeback Special", sparked a comeback for Elvis Presley. "Suspicious Minds" was his first number one hit in almost seven years. Given his untimely death, the song would also go on to be Presley's last number one song in the United States.
The song's lyrics depict the frustration of someone in a dysfunctional relationship that lacks trust. Listeners connected with Presley's poignant story of mistrust, jealousy, and insecurity within a relationship. Presley's vocal is emotive and transferable. You feel the torment in his vocals and the song's arrangement and production. He's being pushed to the brink of walking away from a relationship due to a distrust that is unwarranted. He's pleading to his partner that he's never lied to them and desperately trying to reassure them that they are the only one for him, trying to bring home the point that a suspicious mind will tear them apart forever.
Legend has it that B.J. Thomas could have actually recorded "Suspicious Minds" but it was decided that Elvis needed a hit single the most. Thomas had already had a hit single in 1968 with "Hooked On a Feeling" and would score another hit in 1969 with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head."
The song is one of the more universally known Elvis Presley songs and has been covered by acts like the Fine Young Cannibals, Dwight Yokam, Robbie Williams, Phish, Pete Yorn, No Doubt, Rusted Root, Miss Kittin and The Hacker.