William Shatner: Seeking Major Tom
Oh the wonderful, wacky world and outer space of William Shatner.
Now in his eighth decade, our intrepid Captain Kirk has released another spoken word album. (There have been two others.) The way Shatner interprets popular tunes really has to be heard to be believed. His “Mr. Tambourine Man” is a classic of this genre…whatever this genre happens to be. On Seeking Major Tom he tackles tunes from throughout the rock/pop spectrum by putting together a space theme.
It’s mostly 70’s tunes that litter SMT: Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (the song that began the Major Tom thang), with this version featuring, thank god, a real musician like Richie Sambora on electric and acoustic guitars. Then there’s a snappy “Spirit In The Sky” with Frampton on lead and a read on Elton John’s “Rocket Man” (“a…rock…it..man”). The spunky “She Blinded Me with Science” (one of the few 80’s tunes here), featuring Bootsy Collins and Patrick Moraz, will blow your ever lovin’ mind! “Bohemian Rhapsody” is everything you’d expect…I can’t even begin to describe the moaning to you. “Mrs. Major Tom” is a pretty piano tune sung by Sheryl Crow that shows no hint of Shatner. But for sheer big chuckles, play “Iron Man” really loudly and listen to Zakk Wylde really wail.
There are a lot of guests helping out on the album, other than the ones I already mentioned, including Steve Howe, Carmine Appice and Dave Davies of The Kinks to name a few. Shatner’s halting delivery though (at times he actually halts mid-sentence) is just so much fun that you can’t help not liking Seeking Major Tom.