William Shatner sings ... Black Sabbath????

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Michael Marano
Dec 14, 2012

At this point in human civilization, "Shatner" needs to become a verb. What does it mean to "Shatner" a thing?

Until the brainiacs at the OED can come up with something better, how about: "The process by which one can transform a pre-existing cultural artifact and thus make it at once retro yet infused with a hipster sensibility that is trendy to the unique picosecond in which it is transformed."

Priceline comercials, lounge-lizard takes on Elton John's "Rocket Man," cop dramas in the form of T.J. Hooker, lawyer dramas, even Twitter feeds have been Shatnered into the sitcom Sh*t My Dad Says. Now Shatner is working with shredmeister/guitar god Zakk Wylde, former axe-man for Ozzy and Black Label Society, on a new album to come out later this year called Seeking Major Tom, a collection of rock covers for which the former Captain Kirk will be doing vocals.

Which rock standards? Well, according to the guys at FEARnet, one of the songs will be Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." Another will be Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." We can only assume that, given the album's title and the outer-space-defined career of Shatner, David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes" might be candidates for Shatnering, too.

Check out the video below, for footage of the laying down of tracks for Shatner's version of "Iron Man."

Not since Quebec's greatest son gave voice to the absinthe-soaked spleen of Charles Baudelaire on the 1968 album The Transformed Man have the frail organs of human hearing been faced with such an awesome prospect of Shatner-esque magnificence.

So what do you think? Will this album eclipse forever the legacies of Leonard Nimoy's "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," or his cover of "Proud Mary"? Or will this just be a curiosity, like Paul Anka's Rock Swings album, which featured, among other things, a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Or will it be destined for bargain bins along with Pat Boone's In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, which featured covers of Ozzy's "Crazy Train" and Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water"?

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