Jeff Beck, Johnny Depp Release New Studio Album, ’18’

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Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp (Photo: Christie Goodwin; used with permission)

Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp have announced a new studio collaboration. The album, 18, offering a wide range of covers and several originals, was released on July 15, 2022. Listen to many of the tracks below.

From the original June 9 announcement: Beck found a kindred spirit in Depp when the two met in 2016. They bonded quickly over cars and guitars and spent most of their time together trying to make each other laugh. At the same time, Beck’s appreciation grew for Depp’s serious songwriting skills and his ear for music. That talent and their chemistry convinced Beck they should make an album together.

Depp agreed and they started in 2019. Over the next three years, they recorded a mix of Depp originals along with a wide range of covers that touches on everything from Celtic and Motown, to the Beach Boys and Killing Joke. In 2020, during the pandemic, they previewed their collaboration with their well-timed cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation.”

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.”

The cover features an illustration of Beck and Depp as 18-year-olds that was drawn and designed by Beck’s wife, Sandra.

Leading up to the release of the album, Beck launched a European tour, with Depp as special guest.

Watch them perform an instrumental version of a Beatles classic

For the last 12 years, Depp has recorded and toured with the Hollywood Vampires, a band he started with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. The supergroup has released two studio albums that include guest appearances by some of rocks biggest names: Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, and Joe Walsh. The list also includes Beck, who played guitar on “Welcome to Bushwackers,” a song on Rise, the Vampires’ second album, which came out in 2019.

Soon after, Depp asked Beck to play lead on a tune he’d written, the album’s first single, “This Is a Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr,” an homage to the actress/inventor. Beck says it was the catalyst for the collaboration and is one of his favorite songs on the new album. “I was blown away by it,” he says. “That song is one of the reasons I asked him to make an album with me.”

Of Beck, Depp says, “It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother.”

Depp justifies Beck’s faith on the new album by showing off his incredible emotional range on songs like “Venus In Furs,” that was written by Lou Reed and appeared on the 1967 album, The Velvet Underground and Nico, as well as the Everly Brothers’ ballad “Let It Be Me” and Marvin Gaye’s soul classic “What’s Going On.”

Beck turned 78 on June 24, 2022.

Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck (Photo: Malcolm Connolly; used with permission)

On the instrumentals, Beck demonstrates why he’s universally revered as a guitar god with stunning versions of Davy Spillane’s “Midnight Walker” and two songs from the Beach Boys’ masterpiece, Pet Sounds – “Caroline, No” and “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder).”

Brian Wilson has said “Caroline, No,” the final song on the Beach Boys’ 1966 album Pet Sounds could be the best song he’s ever written. “That entire album was great support for me in horrible times,” says Beck. “I’d left the Yardbirds and regretted it because I had nothing. I was back living with my mum and dad. I thought, right, I’m not going sit around doing nothing.

“So, I bought a stereo and Pet Sounds, and I was just riveted to the spot. I remember it was a great big cure from losing the Yardbirds, having Jimi Hendrix stomp all over things, and losing my girlfriend. All that happened in what seemed like the same day.”

Listen to several more songs and see the complete track listing below the album links.

Jeff Beck 2022 Tour (Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and here)
Jul 17 – Perugia – Arena Santa Giuliana
Jul 18 – Gardone Riviera – Il Vittoriale Degli Italiani
Jul 20 – Pordenone – Parco San Valentino
Jul 21 – Cattolica – Arena della Regina
Jul 23 – Vitrolles – Jardin Sonore Festival
Jul 24 – Marciac – Jazz in Marciac
Jul 25 – Paris – L’Olympia

Sep 23 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater*
Sep 24 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion*
Sep 25 – Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion*

* With ZZ Top

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

In the studio, Beck says he and Depp challenged each other to leave their comfort zones with the songs they chose to cover. “I haven’t had another creative partner like him for ages,” Beck says. “He was a major force on this record. I just hope people will take him seriously as a musician because it’s a hard thing for some people to accept that Johnny Depp can sing rock and roll.”

18 Track Listing

“Midnight Walker” (Davy Spillane cover)
“Death And Resurrection Show” (Killing Joke cover)
“Time” (Dennis Wilson cover)
“Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade” (Johnny Depp original)
“Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)” (Beach Boys cover)
“This Is A Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr” (Johnny Depp original)
“Caroline, No” (Beach Boys cover)
“Ooo Baby Baby” (The Miracles cover)
“What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye cover)
“Venus In Furs” (The Velvet Underground cover)
“Let It Be Me” (The Everly Brothers cover)
“Stars” (Janis Ian cover)
“Isolation” (John Lennon cover)*

*Available on digital and CD version only

Best Classic Bands Staff

8 Comments so far

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  1. Jarmo Keranen
    #1 Jarmo Keranen 9 June, 2022, 13:29

    I’m the one of those who will never take Depp seriously as a musician. I can’t understand why Beck is messing with him!

    Reply this comment
    • Beck is Brilliant….
      Beck is Brilliant…. 10 June, 2022, 12:13

      Regardless of what you think of Depp, Jeff made one of the smartest moves in rock history. He opened himself up to an entirely new audience of young people thru Depp including millions of women. Jeff Beck is a rock star in every aspect of music and merchandising. Brilliant move!

      Reply this comment
    • Ezyrider
      Ezyrider 21 June, 2022, 10:38

      Jarmo, I don’t know why Jeff did this either but it was a brilliant move. Jeff has introduced his music to an entirely new generation including a lot of women. Madonna couldn’t have done better in selling herself to the public…kudos, Jeff.

      Reply this comment
  2. Colorado Slim
    #2 Colorado Slim 10 June, 2022, 00:01

    Well, I guess “several” Depp covers as mentioned here means more than one. Like two. Two originals out of 13 songs on a Beck LP? Hmmmm…. Seems like a pretty low bar, but I’ll try to keep an open mind here.

    Reply this comment
  3. Gimme Shelter
    #3 Gimme Shelter 10 June, 2022, 06:02

    I am totally in tune with Beck and Depp. Isolation and Lamarr are great cuts and I applaud both of them for their talents and music.!

    Reply this comment
  4. Greg
    #4 Greg 10 June, 2022, 10:02

    Say what you want about Depp, but this bromance has Jeff playing some of his best new rock in decades. Beck has always been an individualist who can be tough to work with, but seems to have softened with his new best bud.

    Reply this comment
    • Sue
      Sue 10 June, 2022, 23:21

      I love Johnny Depp + Jeff Beck together. I can’t wait to pick up their album. We want you guys/gals to come to the USA. X O Sue

      Reply this comment
  5. OMart
    #5 OMart 6 July, 2022, 17:19

    Enjoyed concert in Offenbach on July 6th it was fantastic, but only for one hour;-(

    Reply this comment

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