Review Summary: Whhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeerrreeeeeeee is lovvvvveeeeeee????????
Leonard Nimoy is best known as portraying Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek series. His latest appearance as the character was in the most recent Star Trek film, released in May of this year. He, however, is not just an actor; his recording career is a relatively lesser-known part of his life. With five albums made in the span of four years, and appearances on four different compilations, he is definitely no slouch. Then why, you must ask yourself, has he not received more recognition for his work? We've all seen the atrocious 'The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins' video on YouTube- maybe that's why. Maybe it's the fact that his albums are extremely hard to find. Maybe it's a combination of those two things.
This album was Nimoy's first. It was released in June 1967, and has since become a cult album, because of its cheesy 60's sound effects, and Nimoy's (frankly, awful) singing voice. Leonard Nimoy doesn't appear on every track, though- there are quite a few instrumentals throughout the album, including a misplaced rendition of the "Mission: Impossible" theme, and a campy version of the original Star Trek series song. When Nimoy isn't singing, however, he has a great speaking voice as Spock. He, obviously, sounds exactly like he does in the show, and for Star Trek fans, this is awesome. Some of the songs tell stories, with music in the background, and these rank among the best on the album.
The album gets a lot of flak because of Leonard Nimoy's incredibly odd singing voice. When trying to portray logical, unemotional Spock, songs where he sings "Where is love? Does it fall from skies above? Is it underneath the willow tree? That I've been dreaming of.
" feel almost wrong. It doesn't help that Nimoy's voice feels very awkward and breathy, like he's struggling to keep the note he's holding. The cheesy instrumentation does not improve songs like this either.
Some of the songs on this album are, actually, great to listen too as fun, campy songs. The guitar in the beginning of 'Amphibious Assault
' sounds great, and just like it does on the original Star Trek series. It is one of the best songs on the album, featuring some great sound effects behind Nimoy’s spoken word passages; the only problem is that it ends sort of abruptly and feels too short. Other highlights include the powerful 'Spock Thoughts
', which gets a lot of hate; for me though, it's the most emotional on the album. Nimoy isn't singing here, but speaking, and the background music is great. He may just be reciting a poem, but it works. 'Highly Illogical
' is another fun song, and probably the most popular on the album. This is Nimoy in perfect character as Spock, saying funny lines such as "Take the case of your automobiles / Greatest invention since man discovered wheels / Hydromatic overdrive four-on-the-floor / Pushbutton windows pushbutton doors / Double barrelled carborators rush you any place / But you never can find a parking space
In a rare instance, I have no idea what to give this album. On the one hand, the out-of-place instrumentals, Leonard Nimoy's awful singing voice, and the cheesy 60's instrumentation would make this a 1. On the other hand, the fun campy vibe the album creates, some excellent spoken word passages, and being a rare jewel for Star Trek fans make this a 5 (well, almost). So I guess my only option is to go right in between and give this a 3. This album has some great spoken word songs, but also features some out-of-place instrumentals and very quavery singing by Leonard Nimoy. If you're looking for a fun, cult classic album, then get this.
A Visit To A Sad Planet