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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute
This review, is in part a tribute to the brilliance of the reviewer below (Daniel Jolley), who has written one of the most persuasive passages I have ever read. After reading it, I immediately bought the record. There is no need for me to go into huge detail on it, but there are some points to be made.

However much one tries to deny it, you can not escape the...
Published on 27 Jan 2007 by D. B. Dalglish

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Got it out of curiosity
I love William Shatner's voice but this is not his finest hour! Purchase at your own peril, you have been warned!
Published 5 months ago by Mr S J Hook


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute, 27 Jan 2007
By 
D. B. Dalglish "king_dom" (Durham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Transformed Man (Audio CD)
This review, is in part a tribute to the brilliance of the reviewer below (Daniel Jolley), who has written one of the most persuasive passages I have ever read. After reading it, I immediately bought the record. There is no need for me to go into huge detail on it, but there are some points to be made.

However much one tries to deny it, you can not escape the fact that this record is ridiculous. It might be a better world, or i might be a better person if i could judge a piece of art solely on its merits. Try as i might, i can not get away from the fact that William Shatner is absolutely mad. The spoken parts of this album are, I would say, not actually acted. I honestly think Shatner believed he was Hamlet. Honestly. The music is by no means bad though, in fact, there are some nice workings of tracks like 'Lucy In...' with full choirs.

So, why does it have to recieve 5 stars? Because Shatner's madness is exactly what makes this such a good record, and here, I totally agree with Mr. Jolley. I struggle to think of an album where the emotion is so raw. Once you hear it, you can understand more the choice of front cover, the songs and the style. It is utterly ludicrous, but there's so much passion in it! It's nice to hear a record which despite being a product of outrageous self-importance, is so passionately felt.
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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold, inventive, and nothing short of brilliant, 1 Feb 2005
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Transformed Man (Audio CD)
Let me just come right out and say it: I think William Shatner's The Transformed Man is brilliant - brilliant, I say. It's easy to make fun of this album, especially the first few times you hear Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds or Mr. Tambourine Man - hey, I once made fun of Shatner's unique interpretations of these classics myself. The fact that Shatner doesn't actually sing tends to throw one off. When I got the chance to listen to the entire album, though, I was increasingly stunned by the realization that this unique recording was absolutely blowing me away. I have written a number of humorous reviews of very bad items, so I feel compelled to say that this is not one of them. Call it a novelty album if you like, but I sincerely believe this is one of the most underappreciated works of musical genius ever recorded. Heaven help me, but I really and truly love this album.
The Transformed Man is not about Shatner trying to sing (he knows his dramatic reading style is not singing); this is a full-blown concept album of remarkable proportions. I happen to believe Shatner took this album very seriously back in 1968, and that this truly is about the music and not Shatner's ego or ersatz campiness. Shatner didn't just throw this album together; a lot of thought and work went into this. You'll notice that the first five tracks actually consist of two songs apiece. Each two-part track is meant to reflect upon a different aspect of the duality of man. Of course, you don't get this effect when some radio station cues up Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds or Mr. Tambourine Man for comedic purposes; those guys never play the first half of each track, so it's impossible for the listener to know what Shatner was actually trying to do with this album. That is the main reason this album is universally looked upon as comedic. As he has described it in at least one interview, Shatner thought that the lyrics of some modern-day songs were of literary merit, so in making this album he added a background of new, modern music to his readings of classic literary pieces, then juxtaposed this effect against his unique interpretations of modern songs with evocative lyrics delivered in a bold new fashion.
Shatner's passionate reading of Hamlet's mad, suicidal soliloquy is amazing, conveying the very depths of emotional trauma and confusion. Some find his overdramatization campy, but I tell you I was moved by the force imparted in Shatner's impassioned delivery. Shatner's "must give us pause" line is indescribably powerful; I'm adding this line to my personal catchphrase repertoire. The dramatic reading of Hamlet melds into It Was a Very Good Year; rising from the depths of Hamlet's emotional trauma, Shatner now imparts a sense of frivolity and wonderfully subtle humor in his delivery. This song's nostalgic reflection of the past serves as a clear counterpoint to a young Hamlet's visions of a bleak future.
Shatner recreates the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, and then Romeo's pure love that could not go unspoken is transformed, in How Insensitive, into the implacable silence borne of a love that died - here is a man now asking himself how he could have reacted so emotionlessly and coldly to his once-significant other at the end of that long-ago love affair. The sounds of a bitter, desolate wind close out the final moments of the song, reinforcing the effect conveyed by Shatner's delivery. One of the more impassioned tracks on the album is Theme From Cyrano/Mr. Tambourine Man. Cyrano is a marvel of self-confidence; he has no desire to prostrate himself before others or to do anything that is not motivated by true art. After the transition to Mr. Tambourine Man, we find a man prostrate with inaction, desperately chasing after Mr. Tambourine Man in hopes of going anywhere and doing anything at all. The famous and much-mocked final lines convey a sense of desperation so deep that it can no longer remain quiet.
Shatner's Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds cannot be explained or described - it must be heard. 99.99% of the world's population will think it's the most inane song ever recorded, as Shatner goes over the top and then some in his unforgettable delivery, but to me this is the centerpiece, the truly priceless masterpiece of this artistically significant album, a most forceful counterpart to Spleen's themes of dejection and darkness. It also provides a wonderful lead-in to the album's final track, The Transformed Man, in which Shatner rises above the dual nature of human life and, in a moment of spiritual enlightenment, imparts the beauty and power of a philosophical epiphany.
I honestly think The Transformed Man is uniquely bold and brilliant, but I don't want to mislead anyone. You would have to look long and hard to find anyone praising this album the way I have, for I am in the tiniest of minorities here. The odds are that you will find only unintentional comedy in this one-of-a-kind recording. Either way, though, you come out a winner: you will either get an unlimited number of laughs from the album or you will actually see something quite amazing, unprecedented, and downright moving in Shatner's uniquely brilliant, unforgettable blending of literature, modern music, and reflections on the duality of man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A milestone in recording history., 15 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformed Man (Audio CD)
Challenging , yet beautiful. William Shatner delivers at every level. This outstanding recording pushes back all known boundaries in the area of contemporary performance art - A milestone in recording history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformed Man: William Shatner - Awe inspiring, not always for the right reasons..., 12 Jun 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Transformed Man (Audio CD)
As William Shatner releases his third album in his 40 odd year recording career (Finding Major Tom), I felt it was time to go back to where I first heard this truly original interpretive artist and try to figure out just why his recording career has been so sparse.

Listening to this was a revelation for me. I had no idea that William Shatner was such a creative genius. He has taken well known tracks and transformed them forever into unforgettable pieces that will haunt you. People have knocked him for his dramatic readings of the verse rather than singing, but in all honesty this is a result of his recognition that he can't sing, and he tries to do something new and creative with these songs that is within his ability. People mock the delivery, but actually I find it strangely moving, showing an almost inarticulatable depth of passion and feeling. And that's just the songs. The readings from Shakespeare wouldn't find favour with many Shakespeare fans, but for me they go over well trodden old lines and give them a new burst of life by performing them in a style that has never been done before or since.

I am really not sure whether to treat Shatner's efforts as a serious attempt at art, an intentional parody or something unintentionally bad. I personally enjoy it and like to think it is a serious attempt at art that largely works well. It's certainly unique! As to why he hasn't recorded more, it could be that these songs were so great, so full of personality and so perfect a statement that he felt there was no need to record anything further.

This is an interesting collection to say the least. 5 stars for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius or Madness - The fine line just got less visible, 21 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformed Man (Audio CD)
One of life's little enigma's, is this true contempary perfomance art sung by a genius or is it just the ramblings of a madman?. Lured in by the transcendatal musical tones you drift with William through a series of popular hits, his crystal overtones bringing new life and zest to popular classics
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling listening, 23 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformed Man (Audio CD)
Shatner's performance oft made me ask weather he is a musical genius, and indeed, a founder of rap music in an early form, or just a cash strapped celeb trying to cash in on his fame. Whatever the case may be, I consider his music deeply moving. Even now, after hearing it many times, I'm still deeply moved by his Shakespearian interpretations of Henry V, and others. Nimoy's alright, too.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold, inventive, and nothing short of brilliant, 2 Jun 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Transformed Man (Audio CD)
Let me just come right out and say it: I think William Shatner's The Transformed Man is brilliant – brilliant, I say. It's easy to make fun of this album, especially the first few times you hear Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds or Mr. Tambourine Man – hey, I once made fun of Shatner's unique interpretations of these classics myself. The fact that Shatner doesn't actually sing tends to throw one off. When I got the chance to listen to the entire album, though, I was increasingly stunned by the realization that this unique recording was absolutely blowing me away. I have written a number of humorous reviews of very bad items, so I feel compelled to say that this is not one of them. Call it a novelty album if you like, but I sincerely believe this is one of the most underappreciated works of musical genius ever recorded. Heaven help me, but I really and truly love this album.
The Transformed Man is not about Shatner trying to sing (he knows his dramatic reading style is not singing); this is a full-blown concept album of remarkable proportions. I happen to believe Shatner took this album very seriously back in 1968, and that this truly is about the music and not Shatner's ego or ersatz campiness. Shatner didn't just throw this album together; a lot of thought and work went into this. You'll notice that the first five tracks actually consist of two songs apiece. Each two-part track is meant to reflect upon a different aspect of the duality of man. Of course, you don't get this effect when some radio station cues up Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds or Mr. Tambourine Man for comedic purposes; those guys never play the first half of each track, so it's impossible for the listener to know what Shatner was actually trying to do with this album. That is the main reason this album is universally looked upon as comedic. As he has described it in at least one interview, Shatner thought that the lyrics of some modern-day songs were of literary merit, so in making this album he added a background of new, modern music to his readings of classic literary pieces, then juxtaposed this effect against his unique interpretations of modern songs with evocative lyrics delivered in a bold new fashion.
Shatner's passionate reading of Hamlet's mad, suicidal soliloquy is amazing, conveying the very depths of emotional trauma and confusion. Some find his overdramatization campy, but I tell you I was moved by the force imparted in Shatner's impassioned delivery. Shatner's "must give us pause" line is indescribably powerful; I'm adding this line to my personal catchphrase repertoire. The dramatic reading of Hamlet melds into It Was a Very Good Year; rising from the depths of Hamlet's emotional trauma, Shatner now imparts a sense of frivolity and wonderfully subtle humor in his delivery. This song's nostalgic reflection of the past serves as a clear counterpoint to a young Hamlet's visions of a bleak future.
Shatner recreates the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, and then Romeo's pure love that could not go unspoken is transformed, in How Insensitive, into the implacable silence borne of a love that died – here is a man now asking himself how he could have reacted so emotionlessly and coldly to his once-significant other at the end of that long-ago love affair. The sounds of a bitter, desolate wind close out the final moments of the song, reinforcing the effect conveyed by Shatner's delivery. One of the more impassioned tracks on the album is Theme From Cyrano/Mr. Tambourine Man. Cyrano is a marvel of self-confidence; he has no desire to prostrate himself before others or to do anything that is not motivated by true art. After the transition to Mr. Tambourine Man, we find a man prostrate with inaction, desperately chasing after Mr. Tambourine Man in hopes of going anywhere and doing anything at all. The famous and much-mocked final lines convey a sense of desperation so deep that it can no longer remain quiet.
Shatner's Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds cannot be explained or described – it must be heard. 99.99% of the world's population will think it's the most inane song ever recorded, as Shatner goes over the top and then some in his unforgettable delivery, but to me this is the centerpiece, the truly priceless masterpiece of this artistically significant album, a most forceful counterpart to Spleen's themes of dejection and darkness. It also provides a wonderful lead-in to the album's final track, The Transformed Man, in which Shatner rises above the dual nature of human life and, in a moment of spiritual enlightenment, imparts the beauty and power of a philosophical epiphany.
I honestly think The Transformed Man is uniquely bold and brilliant, but I don't want to mislead anyone. You would have to look long and hard to find anyone praising this album the way I have, for I am in the tiniest of minorities here. The odds are that you will find only unintentional comedy in this one-of-a-kind recording. Either way, though, you come out a winner: you will either get an unlimited number of laughs from the album or you will actually see something quite amazing, unprecedented, and downright moving in Shatner's uniquely brilliant, unforgettable blending of literature, modern music, and reflections on the duality of man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Transformed Man (Audio CD)
Great
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2.0 out of 5 stars Got it out of curiosity, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Transformed Man (Audio CD)
I love William Shatner's voice but this is not his finest hour! Purchase at your own peril, you have been warned!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow!, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: The Transformed Man (Audio CD)
great fun, and such a change from his star trek persona - though one should expect it from such an accomplished actor.
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