SOURCE: Atlantic Records

October 06, 2005 11:19 ET

James Blunt Crosses the Atlantic With "Back to Bedlam"; #1-Charting British Singer/Songwriter Makes U.S. Debut; Major North American Tour Opens October 24th

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 6, 2005 -- Custard/Atlantic recording artist James Blunt makes his U.S. premiere this week with the release of his debut album, "BACK TO BEDLAM." The acclaimed set features the breakout hit single, "You're Beautiful."

"BACK TO BEDLAM" has proven a sensation in the 28-year-old singer/songwriter's native Great Britain. Released in the U.K. in October 2004, it recently spent a stunning nine weeks at #1 on the nation's album chart (where it bumped Coldplay's "X & Y" from the pole position). In addition, "You're Beautiful" was the undisputed single of the summer, spending five weeks in the top spot. The dual successes marked the first time that a male solo artist has ruled both charts at the same time for four weeks running since Rod Stewart did it thirty years ago.

The building success of "BACK TO BEDLAM" over the past year prompted Music Week to state that "the artist development story of 2005, perhaps, is that of James Blunt." To date, "BACK TO BEDLAM" has earned 6x-platinum certification in the U.K. with sales exceeding 1.8 million.

"You're Beautiful" already looks set to recreate its U.K. success here in the U.S. The irresistible single is lighting up at multi-format radio outlets, quickly bulleting into the top 25 at Triple A and the top 40 at Hot AC, while also ranking as the #1 "New & Active" track at AC.

Blunt will follow his sold-out October headlining tour of the U.K. with his first full-fledged North American itinerary. The trek -- which kicks off in Denver on October 24th -- will include a number of dates supporting labelmate Jason Mraz, along with a series of eagerly anticipated headline dates in such cities as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

While on tour, Blunt will take the opportunity to make two special U.S. television appearances -- performing on NBC-TV's "Today" show on November 3rd and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on November 11th.

On the video front, Blunt has been chosen as an "Advance Warning" artist on MTV, MTV2, mtvU, and MTV.com and was also featured on MTV's "Ten Spot Drop" during the VMAs on August 28th. VH1 has named Blunt a "You Oughta Know" artist, while "You're Beautiful" is in Magna Cum Laude rotation on mtvU.

In the online world, "You're Beautiful" is the featured Single of the Week on iTunes this week. Blunt has been garnering great exposure on AOL Music, including a Sessions@AOL live performance and release week listening party. Next up, he is slated to be Yahoo! Music's "New Now" artist for the month of November, featuring an exclusive in-studio performance and interview.

Blunt and "BACK TO BEDLAM" have already begun drawing acclaim Stateside. Rolling Stone declared Blunt one of their "Ten to Watch," praising him as "a lady-killing U.K. singer-songwriter who's more than a pretty face," while USA Today lauded Blunt's "sturdy sense of craftsmanship" and "open-hearted yearning," noting that "the pretty melodies and graceful but meaty arrangements... should endear him to classic and modern rock fans alike."

Noting Blunt's "deft songwriting," Billboard went on to state, "Though of a decidedly different sensibility, 'BACK TO BEDLAM' is as powerful in its own way as Tracy Chapman's 1988 self-titled debut and Alanis Morissette's 1995 set, 'JAGGED LITTLE PILL.'"

With three nominations, Blunt is considered among the frontrunners at the upcoming MTV Europe Video Awards. The tunesmith has been nominated as "Best New Act" and "Best U.K. & Ireland Act," while "You're Beautiful" received the nod in the "Best Song" category. The awards -- which MTV will broadcast here in the U.S. -- are set to be handed out on November 3rd in Lisbon, Portugal.

Produced by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliott Smith, Badly Drawn Boy), "BACK TO BEDLAM" is a remarkable collection of musical stories, vignettes, and snatched moments, all told in Blunt's passionate and unique voice.

Much of the album was penned during Blunt's time in the British Army, service that saw him serving as a reconnaissance officer with the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo, as well as a stint in the prestigious Queen's Life Guard. Leaving the army in 2002, James opted to fulfill his life's dream by becoming a full-time musician. In short order, Blunt was picked up by Elton John's management company and inked a publishing deal with EMI. In early 2003, he traveled to the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, where he was spotted by songwriter/producer Linda Perry. She signed him on the spot to her Custard Records label, which in turn led to his worldwide pact with Atlantic.

Blunt chose to record "BACK TO BEDLAM" in Los Angeles, an acknowledgement of his admiration for such American-based singer/songwriters as Jeff and Tim Buckley, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Paul Simon. In addition, the decision to team up with Tom Rothrock was made in part due to the producer's work with another major influence, Elliott Smith.

"BACK TO BEDLAM" was greeted with widespread raves upon its October 2004 release. Time Out called it "a work of tender, intimate songcraft," Q lauded Blunt as a "major talent in waiting," while the Sunday Times noted that the album is "a compulsive, gorgeous slow-burner, packed with solid hooks and love songs with a twist, all delivered in the voice of a fallen angel."

(TOUR ITINERARY ATTACHED)

JAMES BLUNT
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR  FALL 2005
All dates w/Jason Mraz
Except * Headlining Shows

October
24        Denver, CO               The Fillmore
26        San Diego, CA            Soma
29        Las Vegas, NV            The Joint

November
1         Philadelphia, PA         World Café *
2, 3      New York, NY             Bowery Ballroom *
4         Boston, MA               The Paradise *
5, 6      Los Angeles, CA          The Wiltern
7         San Francisco, CA        The Fillmore
8         San Francisco, CA        SF Weekly Warfield
10        Eugene, OR               Hult Center
12        Portland, OR             Roseland Theatre
13        Seattle, WA              Paramount Theatre
14        Vancouver, BC            Commodore Ballroom
26        San Diego, CA            Copley Symphony Hall
Additional dates TBA

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