Eric Johnson announces two new albums, shares both lead singles, Soundtrack Life and Yesterday Meets Today

Eric Johnson
(Image credit: Max Crace)

Guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson has announced not one but two new albums, The Book of Making and Yesterday Meets Today, which will both arrive in their entirety on July 29.

Released via Blue Élan Records – the label he’s just partnered with – both albums will serve up 18 new tracks conceived by the electric guitar legend, who has ushered in the monumental news by sharing both records’ lead singles.

The Book of Making’s Soundtrack Life is classically Johnson, jam-packed with gorgeously assembled gain-dipped lead lines that traverse the fretboard via a blend of heavenly bends and sophisticated scale runs that carry a whiff of Cliffs of Dover.

Yesterday Meets Today, the title track from the second effort, boasts a similar bounty of guitar goodness, though adopts a distinctly more blues-leaning direction that Johnson exploits for a boatload of ever-exquisite six-string musings. He also takes the opportunity to flex his vocals, too.

According to Johnson, the former track was first conceived way back in 2017, though only came to record-ready fruition last year. “It sounds like classic me, I think,” he said. “What people might expect from me.”

“While some of the other stuff is a little off the beaten path,” he continued, “it’s always been in my heart and in my repertoire since I was a kid. But that doesn't necessarily mean people associate that with me.” 

As for the rest of the material, The Book of Making and Yesterday Meets Today were both assembled during a “mandatory lockdown” vacation, during which Johnson went through his own archives and stumbled upon countless outtakes, demos, unfinished tracks and enough raw material to fill two albums.

Because of the breadth of Johnson’s vault, both albums are set to span “25 years of creations, thoughts and ideas that remained unfinished for many years”.

“I started pulling these recordings out of the vault at my studio. Some were professionally done, some were just scratch tapes, some were rehearsal recordings on cassette,” Johnson explained.

“As life’s road over the last couple of years has been unpredictable for all of us, I truly believe it leads to a brighter road of possibilities,” he continued, before adding that he hopes the “thoughts, aspirations and revelations I had in making this project will help [me] make my future music as emotionally positive and uplifting as I can.”

Both albums are available to preorder now, and if purchased together will arrive with a bonus Takeouts pack, which features a further seven bonus tracks.

They will be Johnson's first studio albums in two years, following the release of EJ Vol II in 2020.

The tracklists for both albums can be found below.

Yesterday Meets Today

  1. Move On Over
  2. Yesterday Meets Today
  3. It’s Just The Rain
  4. Maha
  5. Hold On To Love
  6. Sitting On Top Of The World
  7. Dorsey Takes A Day Off
  8. JVZ
  9. Until We Meet Again

The Book of Making

  1. Soundtrack Life
  2. Floating Through This World
  3. Love Will Never Say Goodbye
  4. Bigger Than My Life
  5. Just To Be With You
  6. To Be Alive
  7. Another One Like You
  8. My Faith In You
  9. A Thousand Miles

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.