Discovering William Shatner's first spoken word album in a bakery

I knew that William Shatner had released music; his 2007 album "Has Been" is legitimately great. But I didn't know how far back that went (nor how weird it really got).

Then, the other day, I went to check out a new local pastry shop, where I heard something strange over the speakers, with the very-sci-fi vinyl album art prominently on display announcing "William Shatner, Captain Kirk of Star Trek — The Transformed Man."

Perhaps it was the Star Trek mention that really caught my eye. While it obviously would have been a good marketing hook in 1968, I'm surprised there wasn't some sort of copyright concern about it. Coupled with the sci-fi artwork, it does indeed make the album seem like an official piece of Star Trek merchandise. And I sincerely hope that some Star Trek fans picked it up for that very reason, only to discover some wild spoken word tracks mashing-up the classical literature of Hamlet and Cyrano de Bergerac with things like Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," resulting in a bizarre chamber music monologue like the soundtrack to a child's nightmare. Shatner's trademark elocution combined with the sci-fi kitsch cover art deftly transform "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" into something like a surreal alien landscape that would have left dear Captain Kirk with transdimensional PTSD.

It is both awesomely bad, and also genuinely awesome.

The Transformed Man by William Shatner — Streaming via Amazon Prime Music and Spotify