The Shatner Discography

I don't know why they didn't like me. They hadn't even heard my album.

Shatner himself, from Star Trek Memories



Title The Transformed Man
Year 1968

This is the one you've heard about.

An absolute classic! This was Shatner's concept-album, filled with odd bits of Shakespeare, Cyrano, and spoken-word renditions of pop songs. Paul McCartney described Shatner's version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as "It's wrong, but it's so wrong it's great".

If you must own one Shatner album, this is the one to have.

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Title Spaced Out: The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner
Year 1997
Comment This one's also a lot of fun. While it doesn't have any Shatner-songs that don't already appear on The Transformed Man, this one adds several of Leonard Nimoy's hits.

Nimoy distinguishes himself by actually writing his own material rather than just knocking off other stuff. He's got some classic stuff, like The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, that must be heard to be believed.
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Title Golden Throats: The Great Celebrity Sing Off
Year 1988
Comment There are only two Shatner-tracks on this album (his immortal renditions of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Mister Tambourine Man), but this one adds a lot of other fun material, like House of the Rising Sun by Andy Griffith and Try a Little Tenderness by Jack Webb.

This one's downright embarrassing to hear.
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Title Star Trek: Ashes of Eden
Year 2001
Comment This actually isn't bad. Usually audio-books read by their authors are something to avoid, as authors don't necessarily have good speaking voices (get any audio-book read by Stephen King or Isaac Asimov and you'll know what I mean), but Shatner does a pretty good job of it.
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Title Star Trek: The Return
Year 2001
Comment Another Trek-themed audio book read by Shatner. These are good car-listening, as you can emote and pantomime your best Shatner as you drive.
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Title Has Been
Year 2004
Comment 36 years after the infamous The Transformed Man, Shatner makes a followup album!

Shatner, teaming up with producer Ben Folds and several guest musicians, creates an odd mix of serious and silly. Like The Transformed Man, Shatner doesn't sing but sticks with dramatic renditions of the material. The results are surprisingly listenable. On the way, Shatner roasts his online critics <blush>, addresses his strained relationship with his children, and recalls his experience of finding his wife drowned in the swimming pool. It's certainly a mixed bag, but more of the material works than on most albums you'll find.

And that's saying a lot, given that this is a WILLIAM SHATNER ALBUM!

The question becomes. . .what is better, the album that's completely wrong or the much better album that lets you in on the joke? Let's face it, half the fun of ill-conceived projects like Plan 9 From Outer Space is knowing that the director was completely serious and thought that his final product was masterful. While this is certainly a much superior and more listenable work than the original, does that necessarily make it better?

. . .or is best to not get philosophical about comparing William Shatner albums?

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