Nimoy's final album, "The New World of Leonard Nimoy" was released one year later in 1970. There is no information readily available about how well his previous two releases had fared commercially, so it's impossible to determine what brought about the end of his relationship with Dot.
Many factors may have been at work. 1970 was a transition year for the country as a whole; the optimism of the youth movement of sixties began to take a dark turn with Manson family headlines and the US invasion of Cambodia, and music, movies and television started to reflect this more somber tone. It's also probably safe to assume that a five-record deal was as much as most artists would ever sign with a label, and, like our nation, the once-mighty Dot was going through an identity crisis as well. Paramount parent company, Gulf+Western had bought Dot in 1968 and began to guide it into the direction of becoming a country label, deleting Dot's enormous back catalog from its assets, and eventually selling the country catalog to ABC in 1974.
Whatever the reason, Grean and Tipton were not involved with "New World", and the smooth balladeer sound of "The Touch" was replaced with a disjointed sound, with country and honkytonk songwriter styles appearing side by side with heavy-handed, variety show types of arrangements. Nimoy's voice, which always could be a bit weak at times, comes off on some tracks as ragged, as though he is singing off his key. Four out of the five cuts immortalized in Rhino Records' "Golden Throats" compilation series of unintentionally funny celebrity recordings are from this LP: Proud Mary, Put a Little Love in Your Heart, Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town and I Walk the Line,
That being said, there are some good tracks on this LP. The one song penned by Nimoy, The Sun Will Rise, is a standout, he does a good job with his rendition of George Tipton's Everybody's Talkin', and the folksong Abraham, Martin, & John harkens back to his heartfelt, socially-conscious previous recordings. The album as a whole stays true to Nimoy's theme of songs about the human condition and living together in this world, but the uneven quality of the production ultimately failed him.
It's not uncommon for a recording career to end with an artist's weakest record, and although this did happen to Nimoy, it in no way signaled the end of his amazing career. Since that time, he has directed, starred in, guest starred on, and hosted hit movies, TV series, and plays. He has also written several volumes of poetry and is focusing his creative energy these days on impressive black and white photography. He has proven himself as a multidimensional artist who approaches each project with intelligence, insight, and sensitivity, and as a person who cares about making our world a better place.
Tribute site dedicated to the music of Leonard Nimoy. Original content © 2006 Maiden Wine.