Leonard Nimoy passed away from complications of COPD last week. He was a popular actor, director and photographer who also did vocal work and singing.
His first planned album took advantage of the popularity of Star Trek. Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space was released in 1967 by Dot Records. This debut album had Nimoy take on the persona of Mr. Spock in a series of science-fiction-themed songs. Among the singles ncluded an even spacier version of the Star Trek Theme by Gene Roddenberry and Twinkle Twinkle Little Earth, co-authored by Nimoy. This high-quality album was heavily promoted, with scores of record signings and promotions. Although marketed toward children who flocked to the popular science fiction show, adults enjoyed the futuristic mix of space-age music, vocal arrangements and spoken word. The album’s “60s Space Age” zeitgeist was in tune with the groovy musical stylings of the decade.
Following the large success of his first venture, Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy let the fans see the man who portrayed Spock. While Mr. Spock sang one half of the album, Leonard Nimoy sang the other half. Nimoy continued crooning space-centric tunes. Highly Illogical had Spock crooning about the dichotomies of human life. Amphibious Assault showcased Spock debating the necessity of war. Side two featured often-mocked The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, a loving ballad about a three-foot tall hobbit. Gentle on the Mind was Nimoy’s turn at crooning a country tune. Although “illogical” coming from a man who played a Vulcan, he would return to this genre later.
In 1975, Nimoy authored I Am Not Spock where he threw off every vestige of the likable Vulcan that made him famous. His subsequent album followed in that vein. The Way I Feel was filled with folk songs, which were popular in that decade. Nimoy did some of his own songwriting on the album, Please Don’t Try to Change My Mind and Consilium among them. His last two albums also stayed away from the Spock persona. The Touch of Leonard Nimoy is considered his best album. He continued to write poignant songs reflective of the time period. Maidenwine was a classic folk tune. Billboard called Piece of Hope the highlight of the entire LP. His last album for Dot Records, The New World of Leonard Nimoy took the actor/singer back to the country music genre. A new production crew and more country songs than his voice could handle made the album somewhat of a disappointment. However, The Sun Will Rise stands out on the album, and seems more in line with music from his previous LPs. Despite that, some of the tracks were so infamously bad, that they landed Nimoy on Golden Throats, a listing of unintentionally bad celebrity songs.
His “brother” and former cast mate William Shatner also found himself on Golden Throats for some questionable singing. Fans are in an uproar that Shatner is choosing to attend a Red Cross Ball over showing up at the funeral of his lifelong friend today. “I feel really awful” Shatner tweeted. As Nimoy and Spock often fused characters, it is likely that his words “I have been, and always shall be your friend” have fallen upon deaf ears today.
By Danielle Branch