Kirk meets Kink on new Shatner album

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Everybody's favourite barrel-chested starship commander and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" interpreter, William Shatner, has announced the list of guest artists and songs for his new album, Searching for Major Tom.

And it looks like the Star Trek legend has been joined in the studio by -- among others -- The Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi, Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins, talk-box virtuoso Peter Frampton and power chord superhero and under-sung brother of The Kinks Dave Davies.

The guest list reads like a classic-rock who's who, with other honourary crew members including Johnny Winter, Alan Parsons and more than one member of Deep Purple and Yes.


The Dave Davies collaboration isn't the first time Shatner has been associated with Kinkiness. Futurama's Shatner/Captain Kirk homage Zapp Brannigan performed a version of The Kinks classic "Lola" in the season three episode Amazon Woman in the Mood.

And the set of songs for this high-concept collection is equally likely to conjure up memories of FM radio (or MTV), with tunes like Steve Miller's "Space Cowboy", Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky", Black Sabbath's "Iron Man", Duran Duran's "Planet Earth", Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (hope he re-creates the video).

There's an intriguing tease, too: a song called "Mrs Major Tom" will feature an as-yet-unnamed female singer as guest artist. Grace Slick? Grace Jones? Pat Benatar? Nona Hendryx? Missing Persons' lead singer Dale Bozzio? Or how about Björk? Or Lady Gaga? (That would truly be a coup).

Shatner has built quite a nice little musical/performance reputation for himself in the decades since the 1968 release of the cult classic "The Transformed Man". He has inspired homages on both The Simpsons and Futurama, performed selected tweets by Sarah Palin on The Tonight Show (a compliment Palin returned by appearing on the show herself and reading excerpts from Shatner's autobiography), collaborated on a ballet with Ben Folds, Henry Rollins, and Margo Sappington and performed Frank Sinatra's "My Way" with a chorus line of Star Wars storm troopers among many other things.

You can find the complete guest/song list for Searching for Major Tom here. The album is set to be released later this year on Cleopatra Records. Until then, don your Kirk uniform and lip-synch to this artfully produced vid of a classic Shatner performance.

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