AND now he’s back. From outer space.
The rebellious re-interpreter of “Mr Tambourine Man” and “Lucy in the Sky in Diamonds” on his album, The Transformed Man, in 1968.
Brilliant bewitcher and bemuser of lyricist Bernie Taupin at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards in his theatrical, declamatory, absolutely seminal take on “Rocket Man”.
And let’s not forget, fearless tackler of Pulp’s “Common People” in 2004: William Shatner has never, ever, been unafraid of stepping into big musical shoes and bringing his own unique thespian take to proceedings, he has now used the beam transporter to materialise deep in the blues, with his collaborative take on Canned Heat’s “Let’s Work Together”.
Originally released right at the Altamont-souring end of the hippie dream by Wilbert Harrison, this swamp-slide call for unity amongst growing societal unrest was picked up by Canned Heat, who took it to no.2 in the UK Top 40.
Later still of course, Bryan Ferry took it to a British no.4 in 1976 as “Let’s Stick Together”.
This latest iteration was put together by the current line-up of Canned Heat, featuring percussive mainstay Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra; with the blues guitar science brought by former member and axe legend Harvey Mandel.
As for the vocals? Well … only William Shatner can bring such individual passion and extemporisation to a song.
He said: “This is a terrific song for this moment in time!”
“Let’s Work Together” is only the beginning. It will form a centrepiece of Shatner’s forthcoming album, The Blues, which will land later this year.
Expect appearances of such calibre as Sonny Landreth, Brad Paisley and Ritchie Blackmore as your favourite starship captain brings the blues right on home.