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Seeking Major Tom

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (30 ratings)
Seeking Major Tom album cover
Major Tom (Coming Home)
Artist: Nick Valensi
Space Oddity
Artist: Candice Night, Ritchie Blackmore
In A Little While
Artist: Lyle Lovett
Space Cowboy
Artist: Brad Paisley, Steve Miller
Space Truckin’
Artist: Ian Paice, Johnny Winter
Rocket Man
Artist: Steve Hillage
She Blinded Me With Science
Artist: Bootsy Collins, Patrick Moraz
Walking On The Moon
Artist: Toots Hibbert
Spirit In The Sky
Artist: Peter Frampton
Bohemian Rhapsody
Artist: John Wetton
Silver Machine
Artist: Carmine Appice, Wayne Kramer
Mrs. Major Tom
Artist: Sheryl Crow
Empty Glass
Artist: Michael Schenker
Lost In The Stars
Artist: Ernie Watts
Learning To Fly
Artist: Edgar Froese
Mr. Spaceman
Artist: Dave Davies
Twilight Zone
Artist: Warren Haynes
Iron Man
Artist: Mike Inez, Zakk Wylde
Planet Earth
Artist: Steve Howe
Album Information

Total Tracks: 20   Total Length: 95:29

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Blast Shatner Off!


OK I love Star Trek and from the 1960s onwards. So Kirk and his crew have a place in my nostalgic and even artistic heart. But this album blasts Shatner into another dimension. As the Brit comic, Jasper Carrot once said of something else "it's so bad, it's brilliant". Who else would have the chutzpah to offer this to a musical world where, hitherto, Telly Savalis' "If" or Sean Connery's attempt at The Beatles marked previous lows? I don't know why Bo Rap found itself onto this space-themed album - perhaps Shatner felt it deserved his special abilities? Q: Why was Star-Trekkin' not on this album? What a tragic omission. Anyway, what Shatner does with Bo Rap - even after listening to all the other songs - is truly unbelievable. Perhaps I won't add album this to my collection but, when feeling below confident, I might sneak back here for a quick listen. Beam me up, Shatty...

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Shatner's crowning achievement


Shatner has upped the ante since his last album, \"Has Been\" and continued to attract some serious rockstar veterans to help with this album. Joe Jackson and Ben Folds really helped Shatner on \"Has Been\" and it is great to see him continue the success of bringing more diverse musical talent together to support his new album. I had used to mimic his style to the obvious songs like Major Tom and Space Oddity and it is great to see what he has done with them (some stanzas I was close, others I was off base). It feels like Bill has completed his journey and gone full circle with this album, truly one of a kind.

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Silly Bill


Hat's off to Bill for living life to the fullest and releasing his own album. However, it's a wee bit ridiculous so I would never consider it more that a novelty album in my collection.

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Exactly what you deserve


It's William Shatner! In other words, exactly what you'd expect. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

They Say All Music Guide

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. – Matt Collar

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