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The Transformed Man Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Nov. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Import Music Services
  • ASIN: B0006J2G9I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,059 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. King Henry The Fifth / Elegy For The Brave
  2. Theme From Cyrano / Mr. Tambourine Man
  3. Hamlet / It Was A Very Good Year
  4. Romeo And Juliet / How Insensitive
  5. Spleen / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  6. The Transformed Man

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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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By Jet Lagged TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 April 2015
Format: Audio CD
This is the triumph of hope over talent. Shatner proves that being unable to sing is no barrier to producing a hit record.

I laughed so much from start to finish on this one - that I almost wet myself. I begged the CD to stop playing. But it wouldn't.

A classic! Who knew Shatner possesed such bizarre comedic genius? If you have never heard his version of Mr. Tambourine Man then you are in for a shock. And who can forget his truly epic mind-boggling "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"? Obviously a man with a vision ... of some kind.

If I may be so bold as to quote from the brilliant review of a previous Amazon reviewer who summed it up nicely with the comment :-
"Try as I might, I can not get away from the fact that William Shatner is absolutely mad."

I would suggest you employ the services of a friendly medical doctor to watch over you when you undergo the Shatner Experience. Most normal people undergo a rather strange reaction to the material here. Some even board a rocket to escape. Was being subjected to this album the catalyst for the invention of the warp drive?
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