"You Were On My Mind" is a song written by Sylvia Fricker in 1962 (according to Ms. Tyson in "Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation") . It was originally performed by her and Ian Tyson as the duo Ian & Sylvia and they recorded it for their 1964 album, Northern Journey. It was published in sheet form by M. Witmark & Sons of New York City in 1965.
The song was covered in an up-tempo version, with slightly altered lyrics and melody, the following year by the California pop quintet We Five. Their recording reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 1965 and topped the Billboardeasy listening chart for five weeks.Billboard ranked the record as the No. 4 song of 1965. The performance by We Five is noteworthy for the gradual buildup in intensity, starting off somewhat flowing and gentle, increasing in intensity in the third stanza and remaining so through the fourth stanza. The fifth and final stanza starts off gently and concludes very intensely, ending with a series of guitar chords.
In the United Kingdom Crispian St. Peters scored a number two hit with the song in 1966. This version was also released in the United States in 1967 and went to #36 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Other notable recordings include versions by:
Barry McGuire covered the song on his 1965 album, Eve of Destruction: his version was a hit in Italy (#19) in 1966
Also in 1966 Equipe 84 had a #2 hit in Italy with the rendering "Io ho in mente te" besting a rival version by Paul Anka
Joe Dassin recorded a French-language version, called "Ça M'avance À Quoi" on his 1966 album A New York