Set for release on July 15th is Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp‘s first joint album, titled, 18. The pair, who are currently on the road in Europe, have mixed new originals with covers by the likes of John Lennon, the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, the Velvet Underground, Killing Joke, the Everly Brothers, and more.
According to the album’s press release:
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 rock’s biggest names (including) 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. That song is one of the reasons I asked him to make an album with me. . . I haven’t had another creative partner like him for ages. 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.”
Of Beck, Depp adds, “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.”
A while back, Johnny Depp revealed to us that he’s always fought hard to ensure his creative freedom: “Early on, there were a number of battles that I had to fight. When at the time, y’know, a lot of agents and people like that were saying, ‘What are you fighting against? Why are you going against this?’ And I was going against the grain because I knew if I continued on in the way that they wanted me to continue on it was death, it was just going to be over with. So, I instinctively felt that’s what I had to do.”
Jeff Beck has worked with numerous music legends throughout his career, but unlike the other Yardbirds guitarists — Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page — he never found the right combination of bandmates to spur him into wider popularity. He says that he doesn’t mind being thought of as a music snob for having very specific tastes: “People will tend to think that really, really, trashy, awful music is music if they’re not exposed to anything else and that’s bad. I come from a whole different era long before all this stuff was about so I have to tread very carefully not to look as if we’re a push button brigade, which we’re not at all. My band are very highly skilled players and we wouldn’t trade that for the world.”
The tracklisting to Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp’s ‘18′ is:
“Midnight Walker” (Davy Spillane cover)
“Death And Resurrection Show” (Killing Joke cover)
“Time” (Dennis Wilson cover)
“Sad Motherf***in’ 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) — digital and CD version only
Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp next perform on June 19th in Helsinki, Finland.