Cover vs. Original

Mr. Tambourine Man

When you hear the song name "Mr. Tambourine Man", you have possibly expected a comparison between Bob Dylan and The Byrds. But just recently I have found the version of William Shatner in the net and I would like to introduce it here.
Shatner, well-known from Star Trek, sings this song in the science-fiction series. But you can't really call it singing. It's more a kind of Sprechgesang. But Shatner has fascinated me with this cover version. Especially Shatner's scream for Mr. Tambourine Man at the end sets my teeth on edge. A totally weird version of this classic song written by Bob Dylan (by the way Dylan's only No. 1 - Hit). You should give Shatner's version a try.
By the way Shatner has sung some other crazy cover versions - I will introduce his interpretation of Rocketman soon.

- Michael Müller, Hamburg, Deutschland, 10.10.2005

William Shatner


Bob Dylan

CD-Cover: William Shatner - Transformed Man 45.7 % 54.3 % CD-Cover: Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
Results of the voting: Cover versus Original
Click on the cover for listening Click on the cover for listening
William Shatner 1319 Votes Bob Dylan

Further information about song and bands:

First Church
of Shatnerology
Crazy fansite about William Shatner with lots of funny stuff. There is also a link to Mr. Tambourine Man as mp3.
Bob Dylan
Excellent fansite about Bob Dylan. Lots of news, drawings of Bob Dylan, a Who is Who of people who are related to Bob Dylan are the specialities of this great site.

Comments about Mr. Tambourine Man:

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When I fisrst heard this I was driving up on route 114 in Vermont by the Canadian border. I started crying from laughter so much I thought I was going to crash. I pulled over and laughed til my side ached. The worst- best song ever.
- Mark, Westford, United States, 07.07.2008
I had eaten a couple of liberty caps about an hour before I first heard Shatner's take on this. It was both the best and worst thing that could have happened to me in that state.
- Brett, Brooklyn, United States, 14.03.2008
Picture of the first time I heard Bill Shat all over this song: 5 grown men sitting in a car in an empty parking lot, tears running down their faces, holding their guts in agony. The finale nearly killed me. Heartbreaking doesn't seem an appropriate description; Bill's version is a gut-buster. I've only laughed that hard a few times in my life. Thanks Bill.
- Mo, LA, United States, 30.05.2007
He is immortal! Go to YouTube and search on "Shatner's Singing Career" to see a short clip showing a sampling of his singing videos (from his Comedy Channel Roast). It ends with his "Tamborine Man" climax and it is him at his very, very, most ....Shatnery!
- ladster, Vulcan, Other, 27.03.2007
Shatner's recent recordings (op. cit. "Common People") are Ben Folds records with a front man (think the Human League as produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis). Rocket Man is _sui generis_; the ideal would be a video of his performance of it at some awards show (the Saturn Awards?) ca. 1983.
- Ken Houghton, Maplewood, NJ, United States, 05.10.2006
whereas the Dylan version was a call for a generation...OTS's version,was a call to the heavens. His soulfoul scream at the end, lights the warfires of mans conquering of the stars, a return of the Promethius gift bellowing defiance at an uncaring universe. Thank you Thy Only Captain for this stirring musical tribute!
- azhi dahaka, jennings, United States, 04.09.2006
What is wrong with you people?
- Sean, Everywhere, United States, 08.08.2006
Sprechgesang means Speech Song, Shatner rocks, he leaves Dylan stuck in the transporter buffers
- Al, Merseyside, England, 17.06.2006
what does "Sprechgesang" mean?
- Robert, Melbourne, Australia, 29.04.2006
Shatner's interpretation brings to this song a new sensibility to an idiom that was stagnant until his arrival. Kudos for his understated and deeply poiniant portrayal of one who has lost at love and life, yet achieved a renewed understanding of life's gentle pleasures.
- Pete Venckman, Paramus, NJ, United States, 28.04.2006
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