William Shatner is a Canadian actor, author, producer, and director. In his seven decades of television, Shatner became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise, in the Star Trek franchise. He has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar, which were adapted for television. Shatner also played the eponymous veteran police sergeant in T. J. Hooker (1982–86) and hosted the reality-based television series, Rescue 911 (1989–96), which won a People's Choice Award for the Favorite New TV Dramatic Series. Shatner also appeared in the NBC series, 3rd Rock from the Sun in seasons 4 and 5 as the role of the "Big Giant Head" whom the alien characters of the Series reported to. From 2004 until 2008, he starred as attorney Denny Crane in the final season of the legal drama The Practice and its spinoff series Boston Legal, a role that earned him two Emmy Awards. Shatner has also worked as a musician, an author, a director, and a celebrity pitchman. Shatner began his musical career with the spoken-word 1968 album The Transformed Man, delivering exaggerated, interpretive recitations of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." He performed a reading of the Elton John song "Rocket Man" during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards that has been widely parodied. Ben Folds, who has worked with him several times, produced and co-wrote Shatner's well-received second studio album, Has Been, in 2004. His third studio album, Seeking Major Tom, was released on October 11, 2011. The fourth, Ponder the Mystery, was released in October 2013 on Cleopatra Records, produced and composed by musician Billy Sherwood (member of Yes). Shatner also has done a concert tour with CIRCA:, which includes an ex and current member of Yes, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood.
Has Been (2004) was produced and arranged by Ben Folds and most of the songs are co-written by Folds and Shatner, with Folds creating arrangements for Shatner's prose-poems, and features guest appearances from Joe Jackson (on a cover of Pulp's "Common People"), Folds and Aimee Mann (backup vocals on "That's Me Trying"), Lemon Jelly (on "Together"), Henry Rollins, and Adrian Belew (on "I Can't Get Behind That"), and Brad Paisley (on "Real", which he wrote specifically for Shatner). Henry Rollins also talks about his experience while recording the song "I Can't Get Behind That" with Shatner on his spoken-word album Talk Is Cheap Vol IV and in his live spoken-word video, Shock and Awe.
Exodus: An Oratorio in Three Parts is a dramatic biblical reading in which he is accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. David Itkin, the album's producer and each track's composer, was also the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's music director and conductor at the time of the album's recording, in 2005. In an interview, Shatner recalled that Itkin invited him to perform as the piece's narrator.
Seeking Major Tom was released October 11, 2011 in the US by Cleopatra Records. The album features many noted musicians, including Sheryl Crow, John Wetton, Patrick Moraz, Ritchie Blackmore, Alan Parsons, Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes, Nick Valensi, Zakk Wylde, Mike Inez, Chris Adler, Steve Hillage, Steve Howe, Michael Schenker, Dave Davies, Johnny Winter, Brad Paisley, Bootsy Collins, Carmine Appice, Ian Paice, and Toots.
Ponder the Mystery was released October 8, 2013, in the US by Cleopatra Records. The album was produced by Billy Sherwood, who also composed the music and performs vocals, drums, bass, guitars and keys, while many noted musicians also guest, including Tony Kaye.
WILLIAM SHATNER - Spaced Out - The Very Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (1997)
One of the true ultimates in so-bad-it's-sublime listening. This collection culls the most interesting results of the famously bad recording careers of Star Trek's Kirk and Spock, both of whom recorded albums in the late 1960s. William Shatner's seven cuts all stem from his notorious album The Transformed Man, which the liner notes here aptly describe as "a bewildering collision of Dylan, Shakespeare, and the Beatles, narrated over a strangely disconnected free-for-all." Leonard Nimoy, meanwhile, gets considerably more attention, owing to his having recorded five (!) albums of "musical" material -- mostly covers of folk-rock contemporary tunes. He turns in no genuinely good material, but his unsteady attempts at carrying a tune are worth more than a few laughs, whether in his strles to keep the meter in "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" or his attempts to channel the "spirit" of Spock in "Highly Illogical" and "Spock Thoughts" (the latter of which is actually "Desiderata"). Although a high rating seems inappropriate for a collection such as this, Spaced Out is actually a must-have for ironists who wish to impress their friends with pop culture detritus.
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