Has Been

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Has Been
WilliamShatner-HasBeen.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 5, 2004
GenreIndie rock, spoken word
Length39:49
LabelShout! Factory
ProducerBen Folds
William Shatner chronology
Captain of the Starship
(1978)
Has Been
(2004)
Exodus: An Oratorio in Three Parts
(2008)
Singles from Has Been
  1. "Common People"
    Released: 2004[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
The Guardianneutral[3]
Pitchfork Media7.5/10[4]

Has Been (2004) is William Shatner's second musical album after 1968's The Transformed Man.

The album 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).

Joe Jackson explained his involvement in an interview, saying, "That came through Ben Folds, who's a big fan of mine. You’d have to ask him how he got hooked up with Bill Shatner, I don't remember. But I think he did a really great job of putting an album behind Shatner that is fun and not completely cheesy, though when it is too cheesy, it's deliberately so. (laughs) It's just a very musically satisfying record, and when he asked me to be a part of it, why would I not? How could I refuse? I went to Nashville for a few days and hung out with the two of them, and we created a couple of masterpieces."[5] He ultimately said about working with Shatner, "He's wonderful, very musical, and very funny, because he's so obviously in on the joke".[6]

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.

In 2007, a ballet called Common People, set to Has Been, was created by Margo Sappington (of Oh! Calcutta! fame) and performed by the Milwaukee Ballet.[7] Shatner attended the première and had the event filmed. This footage became William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, a feature film which premiered at the Nashville Film Festival on April 17, 2009. The documentary also features interviews with Shatner, Folds, and Henry Rollins.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Common People" (Nick Banks, Jarvis Cocker, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey, Russell Senior) with Joe Jackson on vocals – 4:40
  2. "It Hasn't Happened Yet" (Folds, Shatner) – 3:49
  3. "You'll Have Time" (Folds, Shatner) – 5:18
  4. "That's Me Trying" (Folds, Nick Hornby) with Aimee Mann on vocals – 3:48
  5. "What Have You Done" (Shatner) – 1:46
  6. "Together" (Lemon Jelly, Elizabeth Shatner, William Shatner) – 5:39
  7. "Familiar Love" (Folds, Shatner) – 4:00
  8. "Ideal Woman" (Folds, Shatner) – 2:23
  9. "Has Been" (Folds, Shatner) – 2:18
  10. "I Can't Get Behind That" (Folds, Henry Rollins, Shatner) with Adrian Belew on guitar – 3:00
  11. "Real" (Brad Paisley) with Brad Paisley– 3:08

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2004) Position
Billboard Top Heatseekers[8] 22

Song[edit]

Song Chart (2004) Position
"Common People" Triple J Hottest 100, 2004 21

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "William Shatner - Common People". Discogs. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ Has Been at AllMusic
  3. ^ Wyse, Pascal (1 October 2004). "William Shatner, Has Been". The Guardian. London.
  4. ^ "William Shatner - Has Been". Pitchfork.
  5. ^ Ragogna, Mike. "Chatting With Joe Jackson And Earl Klugh, Plus Mick Harvey's "The Ballad Of Jay Givens" Video". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. ^ Quill, Greg. "First he loved Manhattan - now he loves Berlin". Toronto Star. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  7. ^ "The William Shatner Ballet". Milwaukee Ballet. Archived from the original on 2015-04-04.
  8. ^ Has Been Billboard chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.

External links[edit]