The Transformed Man

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The Transformed Man
Studio album by William Shatner
Released 1968
Recorded 1968
Genre Outsider music, spoken word
Length 37:08
Label Decca, Varèse Sarabande (1995 reissue), Geffen Records (2004 reissue)
Producer Don Ralke
William Shatner chronology
The Transformed Man
(1968)
William Shatner Live!
(1977)
Includes the final flourish

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The Transformed Man is actor William Shatner's debut album. It was released in 1968, while Shatner was still starring in the original Star Trek series, and began his musical career. The concept of the album was to juxtapose famous pieces of poetry with their modern counterparts, pop lyrics. The album is best remembered for showcasing Shatner's now-famous vocal style—spoken word with dramatic pauses and flourishes. In the decades since its release, most of the album's tracks have been used satirically, either on compilation albums meant to showcase bad celebrity singing (the Rhino Records "Golden Throats" series) or by radio disc jockeys looking for laughs.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

In a retrospective review, Greg Prato of music database website Allmusic rated The Transformed Man four-and-a-half out of a possible five stars. Prato explained that most people who were already fans of Star Trek do not know about the album, "apart from his most ardent admirers". He added that "many refuse to see that Shatner is merely playing a role". He stated that when listening to the album, "it's unclear if Shatner is merely having a good time and goofing around, or if he's embarrassingly dead serious, and creating an overly indulgent work. Most of the album turns out to be a bit too tedious for the average". He noted that "you cannot tell if Shatner is play-acting or painfully serious. The result is a must hear, (unintentional?) comedy classic," comparing this attraction to that of comedian Andy Kaufman.[1] However, in 2006, Q Magazine ranked The Transformed Man No. 45 in their list of the 50 worst albums ever.[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "King Henry the Fifth / Elegy for the Brave" (Don Ralke · Frank Devenport) 6:16
2. "Theme from Cyrano / Mr. Tambourine Man" (Music by Don Ralke / Translation by Frank Devenport · Bob Dylan) 6:49
3. "Hamlet / It Was a Very Good Year" (Don Ralke · Ervin Drake) 7:45
4. "Romeo and Juliet / How Insensitive (Insensatez)" (Don Ralke · Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes / English Lyrics by Norman Gimbel) 6:46
5. "Spleen / Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Music by Don Ralke / Words and Translation by Frank Devenport · John Lennon / Paul McCartney) 5:54
6. "The Transformed Man" (Frank Devenport / Don Ralke) 3:38

Personnel[edit]

  • Don Ralke - Producer
  • Erick Labson - Mastering
  • Charles Bud Dant - Executive Producer
  • Frank Davenport - English Translation (Poems)
  • Ryan Null - Photo Research (Reissue)
  • Mike Ragogna - Reissue Producer
  • William Shatner - Liner Notes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Prato, Greg. The Transformed Man - William Shatner at AllMusic. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  2. ^ "Q Lists". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-06-14. , citing:
    • "The 50 Worst Albums Ever". Q (Q238). May 2006. 

External links[edit]