William Shatner Sings Nearly Blasphemous Version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (1968)

On a lazy sum­mer week­end last year, we asked for a lit­tle help from our friends. We asked: “What are the worst Bea­t­les’ cov­ers you’ve ever heard — ones so bad, they’re good?” And boy did you deliv­er. You rat­tled off 15 cringe-induc­ing cov­ers, includ­ing Bill Cos­by singing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lone­ly Hearts Club Band;” Sean Con­nery talk­ing his way through “In My Life;” Wing screech­ing “I Wan­na Hold Your Hand;” Tiny Tim doing dam­age to “Nowhere Man;” and much more. Look­ing back, I’m still per­son­al­ly drawn (in a it’s-so-cheesy-it’s-great kind of way) to William Shat­ner’s ver­sion of “Lucy in the Sky with Dia­monds.” Rid­ing high on his Star Trek fame, Shat­ner record­ed the song for his first music album, The Trans­formed Man, a 1968 con­cept album that jux­ta­posed clas­sic lit­er­a­ture with mod­ern pop lyrics. For exam­ple, he put lines from Cyra­no de Berg­er­ac next to Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tam­bourine Man.” Years lat­er, in a 2001 inter­view, Paul McCart­ney laugh­ing­ly gave props to Shat­ner’s per­for­mance.

When you’re done with this piece of work, I’d encour­age to vis­it The 15 Worst Cov­ers of Bea­t­les Songs.

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