|Rock set to classical music, especially in the 60s and 70s, was done with no small measure of contempt for the rock genre. Here, the greater works of The Beatles is set to opera.
I can see Elanor Rigby being set to opera, or Yesterday, but Can’t Buy Me Love? Or the song Revolution?
And the line drawings on this cover is an obvious send-up to similar drawings of The Beatles’ Revolver album, which has some of these tracks on it. If it were really a send-up to Revolution, what artwork would they parody? The White Album?
|This 1968 album cover is not really crappy, since the general design would be predictable for Shatner: kitschy late 60s computer lettering; Shatner in a trance; and so on.
What is legendarily horrible about this album lay in its contents. The album’s pièce de résistance for masochists was in his reading of the Beatle’s Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Those who boldly assert that Shatner’s talents extended beyond acting usually quiet down whenever they hear Shatner take a hatchet to recite this track.
I have a link to a video of Shatner doing Lucy, which is so brilliantly done and animated, that I felt it deserved its own entry.
Warning: Once you view the video, you can’t UN-view it. Sorry.
I Can’t Get Behind That — William Shatner and Henry Rollins
Never charted anywhere
From the album “Has Been” (2004)
See/Hear it here, if you dare. You hear it, but you only can view muppets lip-syncing to the song. You can also get the mp3 and the rest of the album from EMusic. My understanding is that no muppets were hurt in the making of the video or the song. I don’t believe it, though.
What do you get when you place the former Captain of the Starship Enterprise in the same studio with a former frontman for the punk rock group Black Flag?
I don’t know, but whatever it is, I can’t get behind that!
We expect an embarrassing level of tackiness from the likes of Bill Shatner (anyone remember “Transformed Man”?), but no matter how much Henry Rollins and producer Ben Folds try to make this sound cool with manic music arrangements, the result is, well, a tax write-off for them both, because I am not sure of any other uses for it. Adrian Belew is on Guitar, Henry Rollins says in an interview. If anyone recalls, Belew made his name touring with Frank Zappa, then David Bowie, and afterward became a band member in the 1980s re-formation of King Crimson with Robert Fripp at the helm. But mostly you hear the manic percussion instruments, not much guitar. The percussion is something along the style of the Hawaii 5-0 theme.
I heartily agree with certain observations. For example, I believe also that there truly is no modern invention more futile than a leaf blower. And “futile” is an excellent word to describe leaf blowers.
As for some kind of overall rating, Shatner’s work must be rated with stars of a different galaxy, for I have none to offer.