First Look

James Blunt's '1973'

The ''Beautiful'' singer goes retro with a '70s-inspired clip, and feels his British blood boil in the sweltering Hollywood heat

James Blunt | COOL RETRO Blunt with his posse shooting the video clip for his ''1973'' single
Image credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
COOL RETRO Blunt with his posse shooting the video clip for his ''1973'' single

''I'm a really nostalgic person,'' says James Blunt while cooling off in a Winnebago midway through a video shoot for his second album, All the Lost Souls (out Sept. 18). ''Memories are entirely what shape your present.''

Of course, ''1973'' — Blunt's first single since his omnipresent No. 1 hit, ''You're Beautiful'' — was written about a time when the 33-year-old singer was not yet born. The funky track brought Blunt together with frequent Dr. Dre collaborator Mark Batson. ''He was trying to write an English singer-songwriter song, and I was trying the Dr. Dre end of the scale,'' says Blunt. The video, in which a modern-day Blunt strolls among '70s street scenes, reflects the song's nostalgic tone. ''The '70s sound like they were a time of excess and great flamboyance,'' he says, ''but a sense of fun as well.''

So is he having any fun shvitzing in the 100-plus-degree L.A. sun? ''I'm not that comfortable in front of a camera,'' Blunt laments. ''[All] I've got to do is try not to look like I'm sweating in this leather jacket. As jobs go, that's not too hard.''

Originally posted Jul 13, 2007 Published in issue #944 Jul 20, 2007 Order article reprints