Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp tapped into the frustration of living through the pandemic in 2020 with their well-timed cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation.” The Grammy winning guitarist and Hollywood Vampires co-founder are back with their first album together. On the new record, Beck’s first studio effort in six years, the artists coax unexpected performances from one another on 11 covers and two originals that touch on everything from Celtic and Motown to John Lennon, the Beach Boys and The Velvet Underground.
The result is a wild roller coaster ride through different genres where hairpin juxtapositions deliver some of the album’s biggest thrills. A remarkable example comes early on when the industrial stomp of Killing Joke’s “Death And Resurrection Show” gives way to the intense heartache of Dennis Wilson’s “Time.” Each performance stands on its own, but the sharp contrast created by sequencing them together heightens the emotional impact of both songs. The duo recorded most of the album in Beck’s studio over three years while Depp lived on and off in the guitarist’s English cottage. Robert Adam Stevenson co-produced several tracks on the album and engineered many of the sessions remotely from Depp’s studio in Los Angeles. When the basic tracks were finished, they were fleshed out by musicians who’ve played with Beck through the years, including drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Rhonda Smith.
The album title will be “18.” The cover illustration (attached) was done by Jeff’s wife, Sandra and pictures them when they were both 18. Here’s Jeff’s comment on the title from the PR: Beck explains the album title: “When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity. We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title too.”