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4.5 out of 5 stars61
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 2005
Why the 5 star rating? Well, read all about it...
Shatner is quoted on the insert as saying, "I've been entranced with music for the longest time...and the bane of my life is that I really can't sing...I'm kind of feeling my way into an area that I'm discovering." This is exactly what many people miss - this isn't just a compilation of songs, this stuff was done as conceptual art. Conceptual art is not always made to popular tastes.
Thus, when I listened to this (my dad has the vinyls) I alternatively howled with laughter, tapped my toes, and sang along. The excellent selection does cover the unforgettable favorites, such as Shatner's Mr Tambourine Man and Nimoy's Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. These are truly unique.
These famous songs should not typecast the album, though - for instance, Shatner's renditions of Shakespeare are arguably quite good. The pieces are dramatic and interpretive (back to the art thing) and Shatner dares to be different - how much fun would it be to hear only one version of Hamlet? He's aware he can't sing so adapts (incidentally, Rex Harrison spoke his way through most of My Fair Lady - a musical!!)
Nimoy, on the other hand, provides spoken word and singing. One of the best songs is Where is Love - a touching, simple and well sung rendition. YES Nimoy CAN SING. I really liked the spoken piece, A Visit to A Sad Planet, as I hadn't heard before and found the ending intriguing (no spoilers here!). You really notice the difference between the 'Spock voice' and his 'Nimoy voice.'
With the variety on the CD you're bound to find something you love - whether because it's a funny laugh and you think it's dated or simply because you appreciate something a bit different from two cultural icons.
Bottom line: A really well-selected, quality produced, compilation of Shatner and Nimoy's art/interpretive records of yesteryear. You don't need to go buy six CDs, just this one. It's an eclectic, unusual CD you'll probably find you like a lot more than you expected (and it's a HECK of a conversation piece).
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on 15 September 2004
This is the worst recording of anything ever produced and proof that God has forsaken us. Listening to Shatner scream his way through Mr Tambourine man, one dare not imagine what he's going to do if he catches up with him, surely something unspeakable. His now legendary performance of Lucy in the sky with diamonds is just as chilling in the way the song is first throttled and then finally kicked to death. Nimoy does not let us down easily either, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins is a superb example of cringe at warp factor 10, there is so much terrible stuff on this CD that you cannot imagine its scale of horror. The sheer embarrassment of listening to this CD in public is a spiritually humbling experience. This is one of the funniest CD's you will ever hear, I urge you to defy logic and buy it!
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on 23 November 2003
I discovered this CD by accident and bought it because I thought "That looks fun". I am very glad I did. This is an hour and ten minutes of pure entertainment. Leonard Nimoy's performances on this CD are, generally, much better than I had expected. He has a good voice and all of his recordings are well arranged and performed. Leonard's performance of "Both Sides Now" is every bit as good as that of Paul Young and Clannad from a few years ago.
William Shatner's tracks, on the other hand, are absolutely bizarre. I can only imagine there was an intoxicating fog in the studio when these were recorded. Bill's reading from Hamlet is backed by incidental music from Star Trek, his psychotic approach to Mr Tambourine Man is quite scary and his version of It Was A Very Good Year is beyond comment.
This is a great CD.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2004
Do not listen to any of these tracks in the car. I once heard Shatners 'Lucy in the Sky' on the radio and was shaking so much (with what I can only describe as a highly potent mix of extreme mirth and total, magisterial awe) that I nearly veered off the road.
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on 1 December 2005
This is REAL music, a true piece of art. You will want to sing along to songs that before you never new you liked. At the same time it challenges your perception of what is good music.
Bill's "It was a very good year is a fine comic interlude", but
personally I much prefered Nimmoy's deep flat singing voice to Shatner's ham acting style. With 18 Nimmoy tracks I'm not complaining though.
Its said Mozart never wrote a wrong note, and that's why this is so, so much better than Mozart.
Nimmoy and Shatner don't shy away for letting loose and enjoying themselves and its positively infectious. There is plenty of invention and variation throughout.
I recommend this to all fun-loving adults.
... and if you're not a fun loving person, then sit back, keep listening and you soon will be.
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on 8 September 2005
It was a love for the song 'Lucy (in the sky with diamonds)' that I braved the scared and concerned looks of my other half as a parted cash to buy this CD. All the while knowing that only William Shattner could sing it the way it needed not be sung. I think I may have been going too far when I turned up the cd player and started grinning like a mad fool as the room filled with his voice. Its a laugh, buy it for the satisfaction of knowing you own it. Hell play it enough and you'll eventually (though briefly) begin to actually enjoy it.
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on 1 June 2004
This is truly a triumph of ego over talent. From the complete pretension of the cover photo to the amazingly pompous production of the tracks. I thought this CD may the one to get rid of unwanted guests at parties, but after listening to a few tracks I realised that this has a certain fascination & may not clear parties as hoped. I strongly recommend this as a lesson of all pomp & no circumstance. A total treat!
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on 21 October 2001
Star Trek can be taken too seriously - to some, the show is so perfect, even the Borg would take time out to watch it. Although unintentionally, Shatner and Nimoy offer us a good laugh at the Trek's expense. Take "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" for example - the way Shatner delivers it is so weird and spaced out, it would make Timothy Leary sound like Esther Rantsen! Seriously! As for Nimoy - that's just funny on the whole concept of it... Spock.. er.. singing? A character devoid of emotions and feelings... singing? You just got to laugh, even if you just laugh at his singing voice, it is purely divine comedy!
However, what makes it just that bit funnier, was the fact that the two were, at the time, making something deadly serious! It was just so kitsch and pretentious, it goes way beyond the point of hilarity!
It is customary to include an 'if you like this' section, but things like this are unique. However, if you like jokes at the expense of mediocrity and pretentiousness, hunt down a copy of "Neil's Heavy Concept Album" (Nigel Planer's character in The Young Ones) - it will also have you in stitches!
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on 12 January 2011
Some reviewers will say this CD is so bad it is good. I'm of the opposite opinion - it is so bad it is a distillation of the really awful. Shatner's Shakespearean recitations (terrible, and set to an inappropriate musical score) are merely bewildering, the track 'How Insensitive' will make you weep as well as nod your head - how insensitive it was of Shatner to record such a dirge - and of course there's the famously infamous rendition of 'Lucy in the Sky with Diethylamide'. However, these disasters pale in comparison to his reproduction of Bob Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man': Shatner's desperate grappling with the song can best be described as that of a man who has had ten too many, flailing against the injustices of balance, gravity, and quivering floors.

But don't think for a second I'm going to let Nimoy off the hook (whose work fills the bulk of this CD). Okay, his voice isn't too bad, but the sandal-wearing subject matter is utterly dire. You may have thought 'If I had A Hammer' was cheesy, but it ain't when compared to the likes of 'If I were a carpenter' - which opens with the classic lines ' ... And you were a lady, Would you still marry me, would you have my baby'. I needn't go into the banal 'I'd love making love to you' need I, or 'The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins'? I mean, where are the spiders? Finally, there are Nimoy's strange spoken tracks: the first is `Highly illogical', a mildly satirical critique of human behaviour (such as man's desire to earn as much money as possible - even though you can't take it with you when you're dead). The second, `Spock Thoughts', is a collection of Nimoy's thoughts on how best to live your life - with such pithy comments as 'Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence'; 'If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons'; and 'Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession'. Whilst there's some self-evidently good advice to be had here, it's a bit rich coming from a man who demanded $1 million to appear in a cameo role in a couple of ST TNG episodes.

I have to say the one thing I do like about this CD is in fact ... it's genuinely funny packaging, with the two stars on the cover in suitably madcap poses.

So, if you're thinking about acquiring this album, may I caution you: the majority of the positive reviews on Amazon here are of the aforementioned `It's so bad it's good' variety. If instead you happen to think bad is bad, don't touch this CD with a bargepole. Fortunately I got it as one half of a Christmas present (thankfully, the other, greater half was the complete box set of the Fast Show).
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2012
So bad it's good. Really. Just keep telling yourself that as STAR TREK's WILLIAM SHATNER and LEONARD NIMOY (photon) torpedo their way through some truly incredible songs, including poems and Shakespearean dialogue. Both actors released albums in the late Sixties and early Seventies to capitalise on their onscreen personas and this is a 24 nugget joint compilation of their 'finest' moments. Nimoy, the guy with the ears, is clearly also the guy with the voice. It's not a thing of great beauty, but he can at least hold a few on-pitch notes together (the poptastically bizarre BALLAD OF BILBO BAGGINS, however, does seem a bit of a stretch, even for a Vulcan's vocal chords). Shatner, on the other hand, 'performs' his songs in a manner that suggests murder has always been legal and is likewise something to celebrate. Over and over again. There's a certain something about his delivery of LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS and IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR that does actually make you feel we're on an extended 'trip' through space - but, sadly, without the required spacesuit. And Nimoy's version of EVERYBODY'S TALKIN' only confirms (or compounds) this arguable felony. His A VISIT TO A SAD PLANET - narrated in Spock's deadpan logical tones - is hilarious, containing as it does one of the least surprising surprise endings EVER recorded; someone really must have believed at the time that such a 'reveal' would blow all who heard it away into a higher dimension of elevated thought. Well, if the physical manifestation of that is coughing one's much-needed drink back up and out one's nostrils then yes, result. Hmm, just as well that in space, as the strapline not-quite goes, no-one can hear you choke and splutter.

1. King Henry The Fifth - William Shatner
2. Elegy For The Brave - William Shatner
3. Highly Illogical
4. If I Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song)
5. Mr. Tambourine Man - William Shatner
6. Where Is Love
7. Music To Watch Space Girls By
8. It Was A Very Good Year - William Shatner
9. Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town
10. Hamlet - William Shatner
11. A Visit To A Sad Planet
12. Abraham, Martin and John
13. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - William Shatner
14. If I Was A Carpenter
15. How Insensitive - William Shatner
16. I'd Love Making Love To You
17. Put A Little Love In Your Heart
18. Sunny
19. Gentle On My Mind
20. I Walk The Line
21. Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins
22. Everybody's Talkin'
23. Both Sides Now
24. Spock Thoughts

SPACED OUT is an artefact of its time by two artefacts of their time, both shoehorned together for our entertainment. Maybe something to look at askance - with the dead weight of modern cynicism and disbelief a mere heartbeat to one side - because, in the final analysis, this coming together of two very different talents is also a heap of FUN.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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