Rhino Factoids: James Blunt's Back to Bedlam Rules 2005

Thursday, December 31, 2015
Rhino Factoids: James Blunt's Back to Bedlam Rules 2005

10 years ago today, the British Recording Industry confirmed that James Blunt's Back to Bedlam, which had been released over two years prior, was the highest-selling album of 2005 in the UK.

Blunt, a English singer-songwriter who'd already earned a degree in sociology and done a four-year stint in the British Army before kicking off his recording career in earnest, but once his Army service was over and done, it didn't take long for him to find his way into a record deal. In fact, it took him less than a year: he left the Army in 2002, and it was only a few months into 2003 when he signed to Linda Perry's Custard Records.

Given the amount of time between the release of Back to Bedlam in November 2003 and its status as the best selling album of 2005, it's clear that the album took some time to catch on with audiences, but a slow build is a build nonetheless, and after opening shows for everyone from Elton John to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and continuing to release singles from the album, something finally struck a chord with listeners.

That “something” was “You're Beautiful,” which - unlike Blunt's first two singles, “High” and “Wisemen” - resonated with audiences and became a #1 UK hit within six weeks of its release as a single. That release, by the way, didn't happen until May 5, 2005, if that gives you some idea of how long his label was willing to keep trumpeting his worth to audiences, but having finally realized that there was indeed merit to this James Blunt character, Brits began to check out Back to Bedlam, and…well, you know how the cliché goes: the rest is history.