Imagine my surprise about three weeks ago when I tuned into Dermot O’Leary’s Saturday club on BBC Radio 2. I heard a fantastic rendition of Pulp’s Common People. Then the following week Chris Moyles played it every day on his breakfast show. It grew on me until I reached the point when I had to get hold of a copy.
So who was the artist behind this five-minute musical delight. None other than William ‘Captain Kirk’ Shatner. In the 1970s he released his own album; The Transformed Man which was, well, a bit of a joke. Tuneless renditions of Beatles hits meant his musical career promptly ended. Anyway this week I wandered into my local Virgin Megastore (which is actually no bigger than your average toilet cubical) and there was his new album "Has Been" on the rack. I knew of the Shatmeister’s musical history and wondered if my love of his version of Common People warranted spending £13.99 but then I saw the list of supporting artists including Ben Fold and Lemon Jelly.
I bought it.
And? I love it. It’s different, it’s even a bit challenging – it’s also brutally honest and while Mr Shatner still can’t carry a tune he does carry some powerful lyrics about the loss of his wife and the loss of contact with his daughter. He challenges the view that he is thought of simply as James T. Kirk arguing he is so much more. He also mourns the fact that he is nearing the end of his life proclaiming in a fantastic blues/gospel track "Live each day like you’re going to die because one day you are."
So go and take a listen to it, I can honestly say I don’t think you’ll regret it. In fact I think I’m going to take another listen right now…