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

By Shirley Halperin
July 16, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

”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.”