While “Always On My Mind” was not written by or for Elvis Presley, it has become synonymous with him. This is due to a variety of factors, some logistical and some more empathetic. One apparent explanation is that when Elvis Presley recorded his rendition of the song in 1972, he was one of the top recording artists of the time. According to that logic, whatever song he covers will be permanently associated with the Elvis name. My favorite explanation, and one that I feel conveys a deeper human reality, is that he recorded the song just a few weeks after his timely divorce from his wife Priscilla.
This is why the song has such a strong emotional impact on everyone who hears it.
This video is an excellent way to see how Elvis’ separation influenced his performance.
It starts with a narration that introduces Elvis and his relationship with Priscilla.
“The breakup of Elvis’ marriage was perhaps the most difficult thing for him to accept.” Elvis and Priscilla’s wedding in Las Vegas had made headlines just five years earlier, and now the couple was meeting in a courthouse to finalize their divorce. Elvis would be saddened for the rest of his life by this loss.
The video then cuts to an Elvis performance, in which you can hear every emotion in the song.
When you understand Elvis’ relationship with his ex-wife and appreciate that he is singing from the heart about his own heartbreak, the song becomes much more powerful.
He’s no longer “beautiful boy” Elvis, but the more life-worn man who remains.
And it rips your heart out to know that he’s singing about his own anguish. While it is well known that Elvis had a talent for singing from the heart, a love song is recognized as motivating. When he sings about his anguish, though, everyone can feel it in the depths of their hearts.
The video provides some insight into their previous relationship, both good and bad.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster. We watch outings with the couple and their children, all while Elvis’s beautiful voice guides us through.
While I’m sure many adolescent fangirls were overjoyed to find that Elvis was back on the market, it must have been a bittersweet moment.
Seeing Elvis so visibly sad would be like witnessing your idol fall in front of your eyes. People still revere the “King of Rock,” and this song must be ingrained in the minds of all those who adore him.
He did appear to be in a good mood back then.
He undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the world of music, and many people have stated that Elvis left a void that cannot be filled by anybody else. Any young heartthrob will inevitably be likened to Elvis at some point in their career. But the issue is, can they equal this level of emotional honesty?