- Audio CD (Oct. 8 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Best of
- Label: Universal Music
- ASIN: B0000089JE
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,530 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Spaced Out / The Very Best of Best of
|Price:||CDN$ 13.23 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 35. Details|
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See all 24 tracks on this disc
Import-only collection of solo tracks from Star Trek veterans Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) and William Shatner (Captain Kirk) compiled together on one CD that goes where no man has gone before! Spaced Out is a collection of curiously compelling recordings that certainly made use of the actors' SciFi notoriety during their '60s heyday. Surreal soliloquies, mad monologues and peculiar parlance are all here! Hear Spock sing! Hear James T. Kirk 'rap'! Highly illogical, indeed. 24 tracks.
A collection of curiously compelling recordings brought together for the first time, summarising the talents of two artists who hold cult status in the worlds of both television and music. Spock sings, Kirk raps. Surreal soliloquies, mad monologues, peculiar parlance are all here. William Shatner (Captain Kirk) performs a bewildering collision of Bob Dylan, Shakespeare and The Beatles, narrated over a strangely disconnected free for all culled from his 1968 album The Transformed Man. Discover his staggering interpretations of "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". Leonard Nimoy (Spock) performs an astounding collection of lounge croons--"Where Is The Love?", "Everybody's Talkin"--and Spock standards--"Highly Illogical", "Music To Watch Space Girls By". An essential purchase for both Trekkies and connoisseurs of musical exotica. --F.B.Hawkes
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I mention jabootu.com in particular, for contained on their site lies an in-depth (and totally spot-on) analysis of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, absolutely the worst Star Wars film to make it to theatres. That movie was a complete vanity picture devoted to Mr. Shatner's character, Capt. James T. Kirk.
Which brings us to the topic of this review. The "Best" Of compilation dedicated to Shatner and his co-star Leonard Nimoy, appropriately titled Spaced Out is the direct musical equivalent to the aforementioned waste of cinema. Shatner and Nimoy lend their "talents" to this album, and the result is complete unintentional hilarity. From Shatner's hammy, dead-serious, overdramatic readings of Dylan and Sheakespeare to Nimoy's earnest yet completely off-key renditions of pop tunes and silly spoken-word bits (done in Vulcan mode), the discriminating conoisseur of all that is tasteless and awful will be in stitches.
Shatner's renditions are definitely the best..er, most memorable of the lot ("Mister Tambourine Man......MISTER TAMBOURINE MAN!!!!") but he doesn't get as much time as Nimoy, whose renditions of pop and soft rock standards of the day such as If I Had A Hammer, Sunny, and Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town "benefit" from his mediocre baritone vocals. Of special note on the Nimoy side is The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins, an abridged version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit set to music that is wonderfully deranged, and almost as funny as Shatner's material.
I can't reccommend this guilty pleasure to everyone, as not all will have a taste for music that is almost completely without any technical merit. However, those of the "so bad it's good" persuasion (like me, I suppose) will find this gut-bustingly hiliarious. If you are such an individual, this is indispensable to your collection. Spaced Out also makes the ideal gift for, say, your inlaws. For similar badness, also seek out non-music by Yoko Ono, David Hasslehoff, and Rhino's Golden Throats compilations.
Shatner's contributions, dramatic monologues set to florid music and rock songs performed with straightjacket intensity, are all taken from his legendary album "The Transformed Man." No one is safe from the shame of Canada: The hallowed words of Shakespeare, Lennon-McCartney and Bob Dylan are trampled and tortured in Shatner's patented overripe acting style, turned up to eleven. Shatner's anguished cry of "Mr. Tambourine Man!!!!" at the end of that song is so unexpected and frightening, it would kill a strolling minstrel dead in his tracks. I must confess, I'm a sucker for Shatner's histrionics, and I admire the chutzpa it took to be a performance artist of such...uniqueness. "It Was a Very Good Year," with Shatner exercising restraint (for him), actually achieves a certain elegance. It's my favorite burst of Shatnerian flatulence.
Nimoy was much more ambitious than Shatner, churning out a mind-boggling five albums of folk, country-western and soft rock covers. Saccharine ballads such as "Sunny" and "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" painfully expose the limitations of Nimoy's earnest baritone as he croons in keys that would make a stuffed dog howl. (Remember how Spock sounded in the throes of a Vulcan mind-meld with the Horta? Put that to music and you get the idea.) To be fair, some of his efforts are admirable. Nimoy's yearning vocal on "Where Is Love" is heart-rending, and he does a pretty fair imitation of Kenny Rogers on "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town."
There's also a smattering of screamingly hokey spoken word pieces written by one Charles R. Grean, which Nimoy delivers in character as Spock amid clouds of celestial music reminiscent of the work of "Star Trek" composer Alexander Courage. The best of these is "Spock Thoughts," a litany of hilarious platitudes that includes this priceless advice: "Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant. They, too, have their story to tell!"
The album's Masterpiece is surely "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," Grean's musicalized Cliff Notes retelling of Tolkien's "The Hobbit." Demented, charming and impossible to dislike, it's a groovy tune straight out of Monty Python, and Nimoy sings it with gusto.
While most of Nimoy's efforts are laugh-fests, it's hard to fault his commitment: He was clearly serious about his music. Luckily for his ardent fans, no one in Nimoy's orbit had the guts to tell Spock he had no clothes.
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