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The Transformed Man

My housemate Jeremy upstairs has a lot of records. A lot of records. Tonight, for the first time I heard William Shatner's 1968 album The Transformed Man which has got to be one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard (Chipmunk Punk may take the cake). "Theme from Cyrano / Mr. Tambourine Man" is a particular pleasure.

April 20, 2005 | Permalink


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Tracked on May 5, 2005 9:33:22 PM


And the Nets make the playoffs in the last game of the season. Pathetic.

Posted by: epistemology | Apr 20, 2005 11:56:20 PM

But wait until you hear/see Leonard Nimoy's The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. But drop a few tabs of acid before clickin' that link.

Posted by: norbizness | Apr 21, 2005 12:08:08 AM

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is also good, but yes, his inimitable styling of Tambourine Man does indeed take the cake.

Leonard Nimoy also has some "interesting" recordings, with It's Illogical topping the charts.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 21, 2005 12:11:13 AM

All bow before the power of THE CAPTAIN.

Posted by: justinian | Apr 21, 2005 12:21:00 AM

And I don't even like Star Trek.

Posted by: justinian | Apr 21, 2005 12:21:29 AM

I would like to suggest that an album that covers The Knack (twice, I think!) and Bill Joel may not in fact be truly authentic punk.

Posted by: Scott Lemieux | Apr 21, 2005 12:40:43 AM

Don't you be dissing Chipmunk Punk.

To be fair, it was pop, not Punk, but their cover of My Sharona was better than the original.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff | Apr 21, 2005 1:06:36 AM

Another recommended masterpiece is the Shagg's Philosophy of the World

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Apr 21, 2005 1:33:45 AM

Shatner's new album has a cover of Pulp's "Common People." Weird ass shit, although a bit too self conscious, compared to the glory that is Mr. Tambourine Man.

Posted by: John | Apr 21, 2005 1:54:05 AM

The entire "Golden Throat" series on Rhino is fabulous. Nimoy, Shatner, Mae West singing light my fire...it's amazing what recording industry geniuses were dreaming up back then. Were they the original crack smokers?

Posted by: Don | Apr 21, 2005 1:54:41 AM

"Another recommended masterpiece is the Shagg's Philosophy of the World"

Unlike the others mentioned, the Shaggs are actually oddly good beyond the pure novelty value.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 21, 2005 2:06:00 AM

His latest album is one of the best ones I ve ever listened to. Probably because of the Ben Folds giving a hand.

Posted by: Nick Kaufman | Apr 21, 2005 2:55:35 AM

If you listen carefully to the beginning of Mr. Tamborine Man you'll note, during the "Hey, Mr. Tamborine Man!" lyric that Shatner is physically pursuiing said percussionist around the recording studio, a gesture designed to gratuitously demonstrate the awesome technological sophistication that is Stereo, I guess.

When I first heard the track through headphones, I laughed out loud.

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Apr 21, 2005 7:21:27 AM

... eeeeewwwww, i just ate! matt didja hafta mention that stuff??

Posted by: Doug | Apr 21, 2005 9:09:26 AM

yeah, ditto on the Shaggs. It sorta rearranges your neural pathways when you hear it, but it can't quite be called 'bad.'

Posted by: Atrios | Apr 21, 2005 9:11:21 AM

Shatner is god! LSD, Common People, Mr. Tambourine Man, and the unforgettable Rocketman have convinced me that Star Trek was just a side project in a great musical career.

Posted by: kactus | Apr 21, 2005 9:18:43 AM

If he has any Negativland, I'll be extremely impressed.

Posted by: Roxanne | Apr 21, 2005 9:42:24 AM

Catch Shatner as Alyosha (the monk) in the 1958 film of "Brothers Karamazov."

Posted by: wvmcl | Apr 21, 2005 10:10:26 AM

Shatner's "In Love" with Ben Folds is totally hysterical. OMG.

Posted by: MattB | Apr 21, 2005 10:23:45 AM

Actually, if you truly want to catch Shatner at his most bizarre, the seminal Black and White horror movie Succubus is worth seeing for its sheer bizarro value - it's filmed entirely in Esperanto, for no particularly good reason.

Posted by: Mike Collins | Apr 21, 2005 10:24:04 AM

Now you have to watch him do "Rocketman."


Posted by: Steve Brady | Apr 21, 2005 11:02:17 AM

Not exactly the same _kind_ of thing, but lovers of the offbeat should visit the following site within the next few days to listen to (and download) the album by Devora Clemmons, one of the most amazing things I've ever heard. At first it sounds funny, then irritating, and then ... just .... amazing (I think of her as a genuine religious mystic, but she's kind of an acquired taste)


Posted by: Michael Farris | Apr 21, 2005 11:02:23 AM

There are three Knack covers on Chipmunk Punk, no? (1) My Sharona, (2) Good Girls Don't, and "No, the OTHER one"--(3) Frustrated.

Doesn't everyone have a copy of Negativland's "U2"?

Posted by: Ken Houghton | Apr 21, 2005 11:17:35 AM

For more of this genre of music visit WFMU's "Incorrect Music" archives at http://wfmu.org/playlists/IM hosted by Irwin Chusid and Michelle Boule.

Posted by: Muahdog | Apr 21, 2005 11:28:24 AM

Yes, that 1968 stuff is abysmal. I'm a Ben Folds fan, so I took a chance on Shatner's new (Folds-produced) album and was quite shocked to find it's kinda good. I especially like "You'll Have Time".

Posted by: TTop | Apr 21, 2005 11:29:07 AM

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