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Elvis SongPedia: Separate Ways

Separate Ways




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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Red West, Richard Mainegra

Recorded: March 27, 1972, RCA Studio C, Hollywood
Released master is take 21.

Single: w/ "Always On My Mind", 74-0815, October 31, 1972
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, GB-10486, February 1976

RIAA Certified: Gold (as of 03/27/1992)

Highest U.S. Charts Position:
#20 on Billboard Hot 100
#16 on Billboard Country Singles chart
#3 on Billboard Easy-Listening chart


1st LP release: - December 1972
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"Separate Ways"
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.



My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
"Separate Ways" was recorded after Elvis and Priscilla had separated but were not yet officially divorced. Although Red West originally wrote the lyrics based on his own marriage, he thought Elvis might want to record it, so changed the gender of the child in the last verse so it would apply to Lisa Marie. Despite the highly personal nature of the song and its origin, it doesn't really stand out among Elvis' sad '70s songs, and he would certainly go on to record a few of those. Many of his most touching ballads in his later years were almost certainly inspired by his separation from Priscilla, but this one, which was practically commissioned for the event, ironically isn't as effective. The flip side holds up much better!

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)


"Separate Ways" possibly reflects the state of Presley's marriage at this time, for he sings it with brooding sadness; but the arrangement is poor.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979





Red West's song about Elvis' separation from Priscilla in 1972 (of course, Elvis and Red would one day go their "separate ways" as well). Weak arrangement, syrupy lyrics, but Elvis survives the ordeal, bolstered by the obvious emotion.

The Complete Elvis, edited by Martin Torgoff, 1982




Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for Separate Ways



Reviews and Ratings of Separate Ways at Rate Your Music



"Separate Ways" Links



"Separate Ways" Lyrics and Downloads

I see a change is coming to our lives
It's not the same as it used to be
And it's not too late to realise our mistake
We're just not right for each other

Love has slipped away left us only friends
We almost seem like strangers
All that's left between us are the memories we shared
Of times we thought we cared for each other

There's nothing left to do but go our separate ways
And pick up all the pieces left behind us
And maybe someday, somewhere along the way
Another love will find us

Some day when she's older, maybe she will understand
Why her mom and dad are not together
The tears that she will cry when I have to say goodbye
Will tear at my heart forever

There's nothing left to do but go our separate ways
And pick up all the pieces left behind us
And maybe someday, somewhere along the way
Another love will find us

Download the Karaoke Version!

Separate Ways karaoke - Elvis PresleySeparate Ways
Elvis Presley


Download or just listen to different versions from Amazon!




Your Spin!
What's Your Take on "Separate Ways"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! Poignant '70s Ballad!

Nay! We're Just Not Right For Each Other !


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Study Up Some More!

Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)