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William Shatner must go down in history as one of the world's most unique interpretive artists. With `The Transformed Man', he produced a record that took several well known songs and readings, and transformed them into something so sublimely, er, different that it stirred deep emotion in the listener's soul. It was 40 years before he made another album, obviously thinking that his statement had been so definitive that there was no need to return to the recording studio.

2004's `Has Been' saw him stamp his individual mark on `Common People', before going on to give us some renditions of his own poetry. Again, it was an attention grabbing album and left the public's appetite for his work so sated that it was another 8 years before he was allowed to return to the studio.

And what has he produced for his third album? Here we have the concept album that I feel has been lurking inside Shatner for many years, struggling against the tide of popular opinion and good taste to get out. Riffing off his persona of Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise, he treats us to a host of tracks that tell the story of Major Tom - the second oddest space oddity after Shatner himself. He uses many classic tracks themed around space to explore Major Tom the man, and to try and tell the story of what happened where David Bowie's famous song left off. We are treated to Shatner's quite inimitable renditions of such well known classics as Spirit in the Sky, Bohemian Rhapsody, Space Trucking and, in the final coup de gras, Iron Man. Aided and abetted in his endeavours by a host of well known musicians, including Sheryl Crow, Ritchie Blackmore and Peter Frampton, they try to hold our man back, but his indomitable talents shine through and overpower their contributions. In many ways it is a work of genius, after listening to this for the first time I appreciate the sheer beauty of Ozzy Osbourne's singing, and Sting's musical talents. I am sure that David Bowie will be moved to tears at this treament of his opus. All the way through Shatner alternates between angry, pained and mystified. On many occasions you really feel the pain. And you come away with the vague hope that he never finds Major Tom - there are moments of anger where you really fear what he might do to the poor sod when he catches up with him. He might even force him to listen to this record.

In the end it is another masterpiece from Shatner. He is either deadly serious or winking at you in a clever self parody, but whether you choose to laugh along with the joke or take it all seriously I am sure you will find much to enjoy. It's fast establishing itself as a firm favourite with me, and I just have to give it 5 stars. I just hope that he sees he has reached the apogee of musical greatness, and I truly believe that to release any more would spoil his unparalleled musical legacy...
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on 21 February 2015
I still can't work out if the joke is on us or on him.

Nevertheless, a stellar cast of musicians have come together to record a concept album with Bill Shatner based around Bowie's Major Tom, and the results are actually rather pleasing.

Shatner speaks his way in theatrical-style through a host of well known songs and the effect is at times rather cathartic, at other times amusing but overall, the listening experience is enjoyable.

Fun, pleasing and at times more than a little silly!
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on 19 January 2016
It's not the album you were looking for but it's definitely the album you need. Mr Shatner is a wonderful artiste and while, unfortunately, I think he's lost a bit of the over emphasising we all love this is still a work of genius. I love Rocket Man ( but it's not quite as good as the YouTube version ), Walking On The Moon is brilliant, She Blinded Me With Science and Spirit In The Sky are true classics. I really do love She Blinded Me With Science, it might actually be my favourite. Bohemian Rhapsody is great and all the rest are excellent interpretations too. If I'm being picky then they're a bit over-produced compared to his earlier work but that's being really picky and I do love this album. What I really want now is Mr Shatner to do The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That would be truly outstanding.
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on 9 January 2016
I love Bill's 'Rocket Man', I ripped the MP3 off his video and its a song I play often. Imagine my delight when I found out a PROPER, new and updated version was available. It's awful.
In fact, both CD's are awful. It's almost like William Shatner is spoofing William Shatner songs.
Please hang up the mike now, Bill, otherwise the next stop is a rap album, and nobody wants that.
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on 14 October 2014
If you "get" William Shatner's music, then you will love this album. Broadly speaking it's a concept album, with the tracks reflecting stories of space travel, sci-fi etc - a perfect fit for Captain Kirk!
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on 28 February 2015
Absolutely love it! A different interpretation of these great songs woven into a concept album which is very constructed and produced. I can imagine everyone involved had a great time recording it. The humour really shines through and William Shatner must have had a twinkle in his eye throughout the whole project. If you don't get the joke, try watching him hosting 'Have I Got News For You'
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on 12 October 2014
I had previously thought Bohemian Rhapsody was s*** but Shatner's version is probably the greatest music recording in the history of mankind.
Shame about Sheryl Crow but even she can't drag this album down.
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on 20 March 2014
This is just plain weird, but so William Shatner. The standout song for me is his version of Bohemian Rhapsody. The feeling in his voice just makes me laugh. I wouldn't recommend buying this just for that song, but if you do, prepare to be amazed... I'll leave it to you to find out which way!
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on 4 June 2017
You know what you're getting from Will...but a great listen to old favourite songs ( and 1 original), done with great artists and Mr Shatner's own unique take and style on the vocals!
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on 22 January 2014
Not much in its class, it holds together as a concept, and the finely intoned narrative style of Mr.S sits well, above some superb arrangements of classic songs. It is humorous and will have you trying to hide your smirking when listening on the train. But this is not at the expense of the songs, and the album is one to hear again.
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