Always on my Mind


Written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher and Mark James, this was first recorded in 1970 by B J Thomas (who made the ghastly Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, which pretty nearly ruined Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). It’s not bad, and a hell of a lot better than Raindrops, but it was not a success.

Elvis recorded it on March 29, 1972, a few weeks after his February separation from his wife, Priscilla. In America it was released as the B-side of Separate Ways, which reached no 3 in January 1973. In the UK it was the A-side, reaching No 9 in December 1972. In 2013 it was voted the number one song of Presley’s recording career in an ITV poll.

This is said to be a video of the studio session:

Willie Nelson’s 1982 version reached No 5 in the States and No 49 in Britain.

I think this is a live recording:

For the sale of completeness, here is the most successful version, if not the best, by the Pet Shop Boys in 1987. It was the Christmas No 1 in Britain and got to No 4 in America. In October 2014, it topped a BBC poll for the all-time best cover version.

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