William Shatner featuring Brad Paisley - Real
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William Shatner's "unique" approach to singing has been a staple of pop culture for decades now. ("Rocket Man", anyone?) In 2004, Shatner teamed with Ben Folds for the well-received full length effort 'Has Been'. A Shatnerized version of Pulp's "Common People" was the showcase attraction, but it was a tender duet with Brad Paisley (back before the "Accidental Racist" trainwreck) that closed the album. On "Real", Shatner explains he's more than just the characters he's portrayed in movies and in television. There's a little bit of Captain Kirk in Shatner, but as he puts it: "The next time there's an asteroid or a natural disaster/I'm flattered that you thought of me/but I'm not the one to call."
Leonard Nimoy - Highly Illogical
Just like William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy has a few albums under his belt. Nimoy's a bit less shy to reference his Star Trek past, though. On the title track from Nimoy's 1993 album 'Highly Illogical', Nimoy (possibly singing from the perspective of Spock) sings about assorted things he finds to be "highly illogical." Things Nimoy finds "highly illogical": women, cars, modern man's fixation with money. 'Highly Illogical' also includes a song about Bilbo Baggins, loads of covers (including "Proud Mary" and "Ruby, Don't Take You Love To Town") and a collection of "Spock Thoughts".
Brent Spiner - It's a Sin (To Tell a Lie)
In 1991, an album of pop standards sung by Star Trek: The Next Generation star Brent Spiner came into the world. Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back (the title's both a reference to Frank Sinatra and Spiner's on-screen role of Data) includes Spiner teaming with some of his TNG co-stars on the number "It's a Sin (To Tell a Lie)". Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn (credited as "The Sunspots") provide backup vocals on the track.
Nena - 99 Luftballons
Even if you can't speak German, Nena's nod to Captain Kirk on "99 Luftballons" is something that doesn't require an immediate scramble to Google Translate. (The butt-waggling synth action on that is also a universal language in itself.) The English version of the '80s hit cleared up what the reference was, er, in reference to. Turns out it was a protest of the postering of world leaders in an age where nuclear war was a very real possibility. Nena's take on the situation: "Everyone's a superhero/Everyone's a Captain Kirk." Spooky and danceable!
Spizzenergi - Where's Captain Kirk
Jittery punk thrills abound on this 1979 from Spizzenergi. "Where's Captain Kirk?" is sung by a character that's suddenly found himself aboard the Starship Enterprise. What do you when that happens? Look for Captain Kirk, of course. In a little over two minutes, our narrator meets the crew, travels at warp factor 2 and learns (gasp!) "the time warp in space made a change in me/for I was the captain and the captain was me." R.E.M. later covered the song as a fanclub-only Christmas single.
Master P featuring Fiend, Mystikal, Silkk The Shocker - Captain Kirk
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On 1997's Ghetto D, Master P assembled an away team (made up of No Limit labelmates) and knocked out the track "Captain Kirk". ("Captain Kirk, can you save me?/Captain Kirk, I wanna have your baby!" offers the hook.) The song concludes with Master P calling the Enterprise to beam him up after a woman announces she's pregnant with P/Kirk's child.
Beastie Boys - Ch-Check It Out
Star Trek references pop up on a number of Beastie Boys tracks. "So What'cha Want", "Intergalactic" and "The Brouhaha" all feature shout outs to the sci-fi series. On "Ch-Check It Out", things get kicked up a notch with MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D engaging in a bit of Trek cosplay in the video. In 2009, the tables were turned when the J.J. Abrams big-screen reboot of Star Trek made a point to reference the Beastie Boys. "Sabotoge" served as the soundtrack for a young James T. Kirk's corvette joyride early in the film.
Screeching Weasel - Phasers On Kill
"Phasers On Kill", from Screeching Weasel's 1996 album Bark Like a Dog, presents Captain Kirk in a sorta bloodthirsty fashion. Ben Weasel sings about how Kirk crashed into his home and punched him in the mouth. Over some bubblegum-tinged punk sounds, Weasel offers Kirk a spot on his couch in exchange for disintegrating his ex-girlfriend.
The Firm - Star Trekkin'
This novelty song went to #1 on the UK charts in 1987. "Star Trekkin'" features "zany" readings of assorted lines from the series over top of an oppressively "wacky" bit of accompaniment. If you've ever wanted to have "there's Klingons on the starboard bow" bludgeoned into your skull, this is the track for you.
Information Society - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)
This 1988 hit from Minnesota synthpoppers Information Society owes a bit of credit to the use of a Star Trek sample. Spock saying "pure energy" pops up a number of times on this track and Bones McCoy even makes an appearance at the beginning of the song. (Bones saying "it's worked so far, but we're not out yet" is pulled from the episode "I, Mudd" and is stitched in as the track's intro.)
Edelweiss - Starship Edelweiss
In 1992, the theme from Star Trek got a gooey Eurodance makeover by Austrian KLF disciples Edelweiss. The song was a hit on the European charts and came complete with an unapologetically campy music video. Lyrics suggest that Starship Edelweiss may be located in a galaxy of love.
Admiral Radley - GNDN
On the debut effort from Admiral Radley (a group made up of members of Earlimart and Grandaddy), the group acknowledges Star Trek in the form of "GNDN". The song points out that the USS Enterprise "goes nowhere and it does nothing", but that doesn't mean it's not something special. (Even with its cardboard parts.)
Semisonic - Never You Mind
A reference to the "Spock's Brain" episode of Star Trek made its way into a Semisonic album. On "Never You Mind", Dan Wilson sings: "Switch on the box/Mr. Spock is on the table/Dr. McCoy is unable to connect his brain." Seeing as Semisonic were in the business of doling out nerdy powerpop thrills, shouting out Star Trek seems quite like the natural fit.
The Refreshments - Banditos
On their 1996 alt-rock hit "Banditos", The Refreshments offer up the idea of using a Starfleet legend as an alias for duping border guards. "Give your ID card to the border guard/yeah your alias says you're Captain Jean-Luc Picard/of the United Federation of Planets/cause he won't speak English anyway," sings frontman Roger Clyne. Seeing as Star Trek: The Next Generation was internationally syndicated, we have to recommend against that idea.
Edenbridge - Move Along Home
On 2004's 'Shine', Austrian symphonic metallers Edenbridge shout out a pair of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' episodes. The songs "Move Along Home" and "What You Leave Behind" were influenced by the episodes of the same name. Founding member Lanvall also paid homage to Star Trek when he elected to name his studio "Farpoint Station".