About the song

Ah, Elvis Presley. The very name conjures up images of electrifying performances, hip-swiveling charisma, and a voice that redefined American music. But there’s another side to the King – a side that croons with vulnerability and aching sincerity. This lesser-known facet of Presley shines through brilliantly in his rendition of Always on My Mind.

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While the song became synonymous with country legend Willie Nelson upon its release in 1982, the roots of Always on My Mind trace back to 1970. Written by a young, struggling songwriter named Mark James, it was originally recorded by Brenda Lee, a country pop singer, but failed to make a significant impact. Two years later, however, the song found its destiny when it landed in the hands of Elvis Presley.

Presley’s recording of Always on My Mind took place in 1972, a particularly introspective period in his life. His personal struggles, including his recent separation from his wife Priscilla Presley, cast a long shadow. This emotional turmoil seeped into his interpretation of the song, imbuing it with a depth that resonated far beyond the original composition.

The stripped-down arrangement of Always on My Mind allows Presley’s voice to take center stage. Gone are the bombastic flourishes of his earlier rock and roll days. Instead, we hear a mature vocalist, his baritone rich with regret and longing. Each note is imbued with a palpable sense of loss and a yearning for reconciliation.

Listen closely to the way Presley delivers lines like “Maybe I didn’t treat you quite as good as I should have” or “Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died.” The vulnerability in his voice is undeniable, a stark contrast to the swaggering persona he cultivated earlier in his career.

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Presley’s Always on My Mind wasn’t a chart-topping smash hit upon its initial release in 1972. It served as the B-side to his single “Separate Ways,” another song that hinted at the emotional turmoil brewing beneath the surface of the King’s seemingly charmed life. However, the song’s quiet brilliance didn’t go unnoticed. Music critics lauded Presley’s nuanced performance, recognizing a depth rarely showcased before.

Over the years, Elvis Presley’s Always on My Mind has transcended its original B-side status. It has become a poignant testament to the King’s artistry, his ability to navigate the complexities of love, loss, and regret. It’s a song that continues to resonate with listeners of all generations, a reminder that the King of Rock and Roll could also wear the crown of heartbreak with profound grace.

Video

Lyrics

“Always On My Mind”

Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine
If I made you feel second best
Girl, I’m so sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
Give me, give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied, satisfied

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Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine
Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
[fade]