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William Shatner

Biography

While William Shatner's discography may be slight, his impact and influence on popular culture is not. Near the end of his run as Captain Kirk on Star Trek, Shatner recorded a spoken word album of popular songs of the day, including covers of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." Roundly ridiculed as the highest level of camp when it was released, the record struck a chord with fans and at least a few Madison Avenue advertising executives some 20 years later. In the 1990s, Shatner played a spoken word leader of a postmodern band in a series of ironic ads for online travel site Priceline. These ads led to more interest from musicians, including power-pop pianist Ben Folds. In 2004, Shatner returned to the scene with Has Been, a collection of original songs co-written with collaborator Folds. The album contains a nifty cover of Pulp's "Common People," but the strength of the record is Shatner's original songs. He explores his place in the world ("It Hasn't Happened Yet"), his failings as a father ("That's Me Trying") and personal tragedy ("What Have You Done") in a compelling manner.

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