The annals of classic rock are rife with melodies that went unnoticed. Lisa Marie Presley believes that one of Elvis Presley’s tunes is unduly overlooked, eclipsed by its more renowned B-side. Even in the UK, known for its generosity to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s hits, this song remained under the radar.
In a 2012 conversation with Goldmine, when quizzed about her affinity for Elvis’ earlier works with Sun Records – the label he bid adieu to before achieving stardom – Lisa Marie enthused, “I cherish all of that. But since I witnessed his ’70s performances more, I’m drawn to songs like ‘Just Pretend.’ Seeing him render those tracks made them special to me.”
She continued, “There’s a gem named ‘Mary in the Morning’ that I adore. And some lesser-known ones never made it as singles. Like ‘Separate Ways’, which, in my opinion, didn’t garner the admiration it warranted. It’s a touching piece.” Intriguingly, “Separate Ways” was the lead to “Always on My Mind.”
On being prodded about her other favorites from Elvis, she expressed, “‘You Gave Me a Mountain’ has a special place in my heart. But honestly, his songs from the Sun era and beyond, there are countless I adore.”
On music’s essence, Lisa Marie reflected, “Music exists as an emotional outlet, a medium to craft our experiences into universal artistic expressions, resonating with many.”
Despite its emotional depth, “Separate Ways” couldn’t capture American hearts, peaking at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and lingering for 12 weeks. Its album of the same name secured the 46th spot on the Billboard 200, enduring for 18 weeks.
Oddly enough, while some Elvis hits found more love in the UK than in the US, “Separate Ways” wasn’t one of them, missing the charts entirely. Conversely, “Always on My Mind” emerged as an evergreen hit, prompting iconic covers by legends like Willie Nelson and modern adaptations by bands like the Pet Shop Boys.
With Elvis continuing to capture media fascination, one hopes that “Separate Ways” might someday find its moment in the sun, as Lisa Marie wishes.