Elvis Presley’s last number-one single, "Suspicious Minds,” offers an example of the large-scale sound that defined his later style. At four minutes and 22 seconds, it is his longest number-one song, and in his
Elvis had introduced the song in Vegas on July 26, 1969, when he made his first live performance in eight years at the International Hotel. It was not released as a single until the following September. It entered Billboard's Hot 100 chart, peaking at the number-one position seven weeks later.
The song had originally been recorded at American Sound Studios on January 23, 1969, though it was held for release until a later date. "Suspicious Minds" featured backing vocals by Jeannie Green and Ronnie Milsap, a singer-songwriter who later became a prominent country-western star. To help achieve the large-scale sound, Elvis' Las Vegas band was overdubbed on the single at a Vegas recording studio in August. Also, the end of the song was spliced on for a second time. This overdubbing and remixing was supervised by Elvis' producer, Felton Jarvis.
"Suspicious Minds," released in 1969, was Elvis Presley's final number-one hit.
After the two recording sessions at American Sound Studios in January and February of 1969, Elvis never recorded there again. Part of the reason was undoubtedly due to a clash over the rights to the songs that producer Chips Moman had suggested for Elvis, including "Suspicious Minds." RCA and Hill and Range, which oversaw Elvis' own publishing companies, wanted a substantial cut of the songs to which Moman owned the rights.
If Moman refused, there was pressure to let those songs slip through the sessions without being recorded. Some quality material was not recorded by Elvis because of the haggling over song rights by Hill and Range. Moman did not want to budge on "Suspicious Minds," and he threatened to cancel the session if Freddie Bienstock of Hill and Range did not back off. Fortunately, Elvis did record "Suspicious Minds," but the tension over song rights took its toll.
To learn more about Elvis Presley, see: