Wednesday, July 29, 2009

William Shatner - Captain of the Starship

4/10

Jeez, everyone was recording double live albums in the late 70's! This obscure effort (also known as William Shatner Live!) was recorded at some kind of convention sometime shortly before the first Star Trek movie started filming, and has been out of print for decades.
The first disc consists of Shatner doing spoken word performances, but they aren't nearly as ludicrously overdone as those on The Transformed Man. Unlike that album, Shatner is fully in on the joke here, and there's barely any musical backing (just some sparsely-used synthesizers). The backing music was one of the funniest parts of The Transformed Man, for crying out loud! I know that he couldn't afford to bring a whole retinue of musicians along, so he had to make do, but it's still seriously underwhelming.
There are a few very funny parts (including some bits in a monologue about Galileo), but for the most part, this disc is dull as hell with various readings related to astronomy and space travel that just aren't very interesting. I guess it would've been impossible to equal The Transformed Man in a live setting, so Shatner didn't even try. I give the first disc a 4/10.
The second disc is Shatner answering questions from the audience. This is somewhat more entertaining, with some amusing stories about Leonard Nimoy and Gene Roddenberry (I'm surprised that "Nimoy" brings up one of those dotted red lines but "Roddenberry" doesn't) and a funny bit with a little kid, but there's still quite a bit of dross. I give the second disc a 5/10, and decided to round down to give it a 4 overall.
All in all, one of the most interesting bits of this album is the cover, which shows Shatner holding a laser gun that's actually an inverted camera tripod. Since this album has been out of print for quite some time, I'll be making a rapidshare link (thanks to wayoutjunk for uploading it in the first place). Note that this rip isn't very good; there are pops and clicks all over the place and each side has about a minute of silence at the end.

link

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