Always on my Mind is seldom considered among the best of Elvis’ 70’s output, but if you ask me it’s at the top of the list. The recording sessions was great, it included Burnin Love and For the good times. I almost cry when I listen to it, it embodies everything, everything I love about Elvis, heartbreak, slow ballads, emphathy and true feelings. What a voice!
Peter Guralnick writes in his book Careless Love:
The trouble was, he (Elvis) wasn’t interested in cutting a hit record. “He was trying to get something out of his system.”
On the second night Felton finally got his way, but he was under no illusion that Elvis was doing it for any other reason than to indulge his producer. With encouragement from Joe Esposito and Jerry Schilling, and with Charlie pounding away on acoustic guitar, they got a good, energetic version of “Burning love”, the song Felton had brought to the session, but it was tossed off in six quick takes, in almost throwaway style, and everyone could see that Elvis’ heart wasn’t really in it. They kept working till four in the morning but got only one more song that night and two the following night, including “Always on my mind”…
Elvis seems very wore down after his divorce from Pricilla and in no mood for Rock’n Roll, but he really let it all out in this great ballad.
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind
Always on my mind recorded by Elvis:
The feeling embodied in that song is tremendous, how a man can put this much feeling into a song is hard to conceive!
Here’s another version recorded by Elvis on the 29th of March in 1972:
“Always on My Mind” is an American country music song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson.
Elvis Presley recorded his version of “Always on My Mind” on March 29, 1972, a few weeks after his February separation from wifePriscilla. The song was released as the B-side of the “Separate Ways” single, which reached Gold status in the U.S for sales of over half a million copies. It was listed as a double sided hit reaching number 16 on Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart in November 1972. In the UK “Always on My Mind” was the hit song and “Separate Ways” was the B-side.