Book Review: ‘The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy’

I confess, I was completely, and happily, surprised by this book.

As most Star Trek fans know, both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy recorded a number of record albums when Original Series fame was still hot on their heels. Some made it into those embarrassing, but bestselling, “Golden Throats” collections, others turned into collectibles.

And Leonard Nimoy fans know that he was an artist in more than his acting: he was a photographer, a film director, a memoirist, and a poet.  And, yes, a singer… more or less. So Darlene Lacey and Joe Lacey took it upon themselves to document his recording career, and created a book, The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy (with the title referencing his 1969 album, The Touch of Leonard Nimoy) to collect everything they learned.

They did a great job.

It’s visual, it’s fact-filled, it contexts, and it covers everything. It’s also fun. Filled with photos of Nimoy, of the products sold in his name, of 1960s artifacts, and even reviews of his live performances, it’s an all-encompassing encyclopedia of his work as a singer. Readers will get detailed information on all of his recordings along with eye-catching photos that include promotional posters, newspaper ads, and the vinyl itself as well as all the covers.

from The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy

Within the book’s beautifully-styled pages are liner notes, track lists, and photos galore, but before you get caught up on those you’ll appreciate the deep dive that kicks it off, explaining Nimoy’s motivation for making these albums and painting a picture of what his life, and fame, was like at the time.

The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy

There’s also a page that analyzes his five albums in terms of whether they were more Spockish than Nimoyish:

Spock vs. Nimoy - The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy

As much as it’s an in-depth look at Nimoy’s recording career, it’s also a time capsule of sorts. There’s a section on funny buttons, which were a popular fad in the 1960s and bore slogans like “Down with report cards” and “Happiness is a happening.”

Part historical document, part entertaining read, fans of Nimoy will want to add this to their collection—especially to finally find out how “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” came to be.

Best of all, it’s written with great affection by true fans who appreciated the man’s artistry and dedication, and want to celebrate every aspect of his career.


The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy is available now

Kindle                     Paperback

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albatrosity

Saw a clip of the Ballad in a LOTR review lately and I was aghast/delighted. I tried grabbing Spock’s Music from Outer Space when they rereleased it on vinyl for Black Friday last year but none of the stores I went to had a copy, pity.

Danpaine

There’s a few copies under $20 on eBay right now.

Just Another Salt Vampire

Peter Jackson should have put the Nimoy song over the end credits to one of the Hobbit movies.

I don’t know that I could bring myself to spend actual money on this, but I’m delighted that it exists.

Gary 8.5

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Corylea

Leonard Nimoy had such a fabulous speaking voice that I found it strange that his singing voice was just ordinary. I guess his speaking voice was trained, and his singing voice wasn’t, and training must matter.

Still, Star Trek V made it clear that Leonard was the only one of the three main actors who could actually carry a tune, and I enjoy listening to him sing, in the same way that I enjoy listening to my father sing. It’s not the quality of the singing but rather the love for the singer that counts. ;-)

Darfyn

Yes , it is an interesting collectible for Nimoy Fans of his music and life . And I am considering this .

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – his version of “Sunny” is worth it for the backing track alone. Great arrangement – instrumentals and backing vocals, well done. I’ve even grown to love his interpretation of it too.

KS Langley

I bought this book as soon as I discovered it! I own all five of Leonard’s singing albums (six, if you count the compilation album that is reissues), and I wouldn’t give them up for love nor money! :-)