Unveiling the Extravagant Reward: The Mastermind Behind Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ Indulges in a Lavish Rolls Royce!


Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds”: A Hit That Almost Never Was

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Elvis Presley’s iconic hit “Suspicious Minds” might have never reached the top of the charts if it weren’t for a stroke of luck and the involvement of renowned producer Chips Moman. Originally a cover of an obscure song, “Suspicious Minds” gained popularity only after Elvis Presley recorded it.

Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ was 1st sung by the writer of ‘Always on My Mind’

“Suspicious Minds” was not an original composition by Elvis Presley. The track was initially recorded by its writer, Mark James, who also wrote another Elvis classic, “Always on My Mind.” Despite the record label’s confidence in the song’s potential as a hit, it failed to gain traction until Elvis took it on.

In a 2017 interview with Elvis Australia, James discussed his experience with “Suspicious Minds.” “I recorded for Scepter Records,” he recalled. “Worked with [producer] Chips [Moman]. They loved it, up at Scepter Records. They said, ‘Smash!’

“Chips and I went up there and we had a big party, a big promotional thing, 25 promotional people were there,” he added. “They all said ‘Smash, smash, smash’ and they even gave Chips a Rolls Royce for producing that. It was a small label and maybe they didn’t know how to market it like Atlantic [Records] or other people. Anyway, it never happened.” Fortunately, Elvis saw the potential in the song and delivered a groundbreaking rendition that catapulted “Suspicious Minds” to the top of the charts.

Chips Moman liked the original song and later produced Elvis Presley’s version of it

James shared the story behind how he came up with the song and Chips Moman’s reaction to it. “The title came to me one night,” he said. “I was playing organ bass pedals at an apartment I was living in, and I was getting kind of a riff thing, the same riff, and I was getting the groove of it, playing bass pedals.

“And then when I got a certain portion, I went to the studio and finished it up on the grand piano,” he continued. “And when Chips heard it, he said, ‘Man, I want to cut that on you,’ and he was real excited.” Moman went on to produce Elvis’ version of “Suspicious Minds” alongside country legend Felton Jarvis.

How ‘Suspicious Minds’ and its parent album performed on the charts in the United States

Elvis’ rendition of “Suspicious Minds” became a massive hit in the United States. The track reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained on the chart for an impressive 15 weeks. It marked Elvis Presley’s final No. 1 single, although he came close to reclaiming the top spot with “Burning Love,” which peaked at No. 2.

“Suspicious Minds” was featured on select editions of the album From Elvis in Memphis, which achieved considerable success, peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 and spending a total of 34 weeks on the chart. The album captured the soulful and Southern style of Elvis’ later career and included other timeless tracks such as “In the Ghetto,” “Don’t Cry Daddy,” and “Kentucky Rain.”

While Mark James’ version of “Suspicious Minds” failed to make an impact, the success of Elvis’ cover version certainly justified the gift of a Rolls Royce to Chips Moman for his production of the song.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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