Bruno Mars is retro to his core, going back to his kiddie days singing doo-wop and imitating Elvis. And though he’s as responsible as nearly anyone for the sound of pop radio today, he always seems a little happier slipping into someone else’s era.
This has extended from his music and his fashion to even his music videos, as his Police-and-new-wave-aping single “Locked Out of Heaven” had a video that looked like it was filmed using lo-fi ’80s equipment and was being played on a damaged video cassette—not a bad look for Bruno, of course.
Now, he’s slipped back even further. “When I Was Your Man,” Bruno’s second video off Unorthodox Jukebox, sees Bruno trading in his Jheri curl and warped VHS footage for a ‘fro and what appears to be an early ’70s TV special, featuring Bruno playing the piano solo (with a glass of scotch resting on the top) in front of a neo-psychedelic background, with old-school credits announcing his presence and the song’s title.