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So bad this lemon has bite
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).