You Were on My Mind
|"You Were on My Mind"|
|Single by We Five|
|from the album You Were on My Mind|
|We Five singles chronology|
"You Were on My Mind" is a popular song written by Sylvia Fricker in 1962  in a bathtub in a suite at the Hotel Earle in Greenwich Village. She wrote it in the bathroom because "it was the only place ... the cockroaches would not go". It was originally performed by Fricker and her then husband-to-be 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. In 1965 the song was covered in an up-tempo version, with slightly altered lyrics and melody by the California pop quintet We Five. Their recording reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 1965 and topped the Billboard easy 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. It was featured on his album, Follow Me...
Ian and Sylvia re-recorded the song in 1972 with their band Great Speckled Bird, reaching #4 on the Canadian easy listening chart.
Other notable recordings include versions by:
- The Henchmen on their Dominion Records LP One UP! circa 1964
- The Chad Mitchell Trio covered the song on its 1965 album "Typical American Boys".
- Barry McGuire covered the song on his 1965 album, Eve of Destruction: his version was a hit in Italy (#19) in 1966
- Crispian St. Peters scored a number two hit in the UK with the song 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
- Bobby Penn covered it in 1971 and went to #51 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart.
- Susanna Hoffs covered it on the soundtrack for the 1992 film Fathers and Sons
- Nanci Griffith on her 1998 album Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful).
- Serena Ryder included a version of this song on her 2006 album, If Your Memory Serves You Well
- On the 2016 album Colvin & Earle by Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle
- On the deluxe iTunes version of the 2016 album Good Grief by Lucius
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1965 (U.S.)
- Los Angeles Times book review of Wounds to Bind, by We Five cofounder Jerry Burgan, which details the recording of "You Were On My Mind" http://www.latimes.com/tn-hbi-et-0904-wounds-to-bind-jerry-burgan-we-five-20140903-story.html
- Laura Archibald (director) (2012). "Sylvia Fricker/Tyson interview". Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation. New York, NY: Kino Lorber. OCLC 842426241.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 255.
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1965
- Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 674. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
- Crispian St. Peters, "You Were on My Mind" US chart position Retrieved June 18, 2015.