Seeking Major Tom

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
William Shatner follows up his cult classic 1968 album The Transformed Man and equally compelling 2004 Ben Folds collaboration Has Been with 2011's double-disc space odyssey Seeking Major Tom. Featuring a bevy of guest artists including Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Steve Miller, Bootsy Collins, and others, the album presents more of Shatner's now storied "is it a joke or not" spoken word takes on various well-known pop songs. As with The Transformed Man, Seeking Major Tom is clearly meant to play off Shatner's iconic role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, and the space theme is present throughout every song here, including such cuts as "Space Oddity," "Space Cowboy," ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
William Shatner follows up his cult classic 1968 album The Transformed Man and equally compelling 2004 Ben Folds collaboration Has Been with 2011's double-disc space odyssey Seeking Major Tom. Featuring a bevy of guest artists including Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Steve Miller, Bootsy Collins, and others, the album presents more of Shatner's now storied "is it a joke or not" spoken word takes on various well-known pop songs. As with The Transformed Man, Seeking Major Tom is clearly meant to play off Shatner's iconic role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, and the space theme is present throughout every song here, including such cuts as "Space Oddity," "Space Cowboy," "Walking on the Moon," "Spirit in the Sky," and others. In fact, disc one is bookended with Shatner's title track version of the 1983 Peter Schilling hit "Major Tom (Coming Home)" and Crow covering K.I.A.'s 2003 song "Mrs. Major Tom." Overall, the album is a get-what-you-pay-for offering that both matches Shatner's earlier efforts and, on a few occasions, even transcends what has come before. The real surprise here, however, is not derived from the clearly intended-to-be-humorous moments such as Shatner's campy take on Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science" featuring an inspired appearance from Collins. On the contrary, it's the more subdued and even serious moments when Shatner is allowed to settle into character and use the gravitas of his trained actor's voice that he actually does transcend the irony of his schtick. His impressionistic reading of Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars" is a gorgeous and poignant recording featuring Shatner over piano and accompanied sympathetically by eminent jazz saxophonist Ernie Watts. Similarly engaging is Shatner's poetic recitation of Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly," which retains all of the original's epic space rock majesty. However, it is Shatner's reworking of his infamous 1978 Science Fiction Awards take on Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Rocket Man" that is truly amazing. Straying from the hard-boiled "astronaut as private dick" approach he took in 1978, here Shatner plays it -- not unlike himself (81 years old at the time of this recording) -- as a man nearing the end of his life, second-guessing the choices he's made and inflicted upon his family. By the time he gets to "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids, 'fact...it's cold as hell," he has taken it to a wholly deeper place, and found a more nuanced meaning in the song that transcends his own satirical style. It's like he's lived with the performance for so long that it's become part of him, and the meaning has changed as he's aged. It's an unexpectedly moving moment and not at all what one foresees heading into an album that promises a team-up between Shatner and metal guitar god Zakk Wylde on Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." Ultimately, by sending up his own persona while still playing it straight, Shatner has become master of his own satirical legend, and in that sense anybody looking for jokes about tribbles delivered by a passionately tunnel-visioned, acid-tripping Shatner in full-on "KHAN!!" mode will find much to enjoy on Seeking Major Tom. Still, even when just kidding around, Shatner proves himself to be an exacting master of his craft, and more than a few times on Seeking Major Tom the joke is clearly on us.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2011
  • Label: Cleopatra
  • UPC: 741157479928
  • Catalog Number: 4799
  • Sales rank: 59,029

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Major Tom (Coming Home) - Nick Valensi (5:17)
  2. 2 Space Oddity - Candice Night (4:54)
  3. 3 In a Little While - William Shatner (3:51)
  4. 4 Space Cowboy - Brad Paisley (5:24)
  5. 5 Space Truckin' - Ian Paice (5:07)
  6. 6 Rocket Man - William Shatner (4:39)
  7. 7 She Blinded Me With Science - Bootsy Collins (5:49)
  8. 8 Walking on the Moon - Toots Hibbert (2:51)
  9. 9 Spirit in the Sky - William Shatner (4:24)
  10. 10 Bohemian Rhapsody - William Shatner (5:39)
  11. 11 Silver Machine - William Shatner (4:45)
  12. 12 Mrs. Major Tom - William Shatner (5:46)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Empty Glass - William Shatner (3:14)
  2. 2 Lost in the Stars - Ernie Watts (3:42)
  3. 3 Learning to Fly - Edgar Froese (4:43)
  4. 4 Mr. Spaceman - William Shatner (2:13)
  5. 5 Twilight Zone - William Shatner (7:24)
  6. 6 Struggle - William Shatner (4:11)
  7. 7 Iron Man - Mike Inez (6:31)
  8. 8 Planet Earth - William Shatner (4:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
William Shatner Primary Artist
Patrick Kennison Guitar, Vocals
Tammy Tomahawk Vocals
Brent Fields Keyboards
Technical Credits
David Bowie Composer
Thomas Dolby Composer
Ian Gillan Composer
Elton John Composer
Freddie Mercury Composer
Ozzy Osbourne Composer
Sting Composer
Ritchie Blackmore Composer
Roger Glover Composer
Norman Greenbaum Composer
Jon Lord Composer
William Shatner Composer
Geezer Butler Composer
Jon Carin Composer
Adam Clayton Composer
Jürgen Engler Producer
Bob Ezrin Composer
David Gilmour Composer
Tony Iommi Composer
Simon LeBon Composer
Roger McGuinn Composer
Steve Miller Composer
Anthony Moore Composer
Larry Mullen Jr. Composer
Ian Paice Composer
Bernie Taupin Composer
Paul Hewson Composer
Bill Ward Composer
Paul Tavenner Mastering
Brian Perera Executive Producer
Adam Hamilton Composer, Producer
K. Anderson Composer
Tim Yasui Marketing, Promoter
Pete Mills Drum Engineering
Roger Taylor Composer
Scott Liggett Sound Design
Chris Lietz Producer
Brent Fields Programming
David Evans Composer
Jon Schnell Sound Design
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