Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp will release 18 – a joint album comprising covers and Depp-written originals – on July 15, and have released the first single, a Depp-penned original entitled This Is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr.
The news comes after Beck confirmed an imminent release for the record during a recent gig in Gateshead, England. “I met this guy [several] years ago and we've never stopped laughing since,” the guitarist told the crowd (per The Guardian).
According to a press release, Beck found a “kindred spirit” in Johnny Depp when the pair met in 2016. He became impressed with Depp's songwriting skills and ear for music, and was subsequently convinced the duo should record an album together.
The record – which has been in the works since 2019 – sees the pair cover a genre-spanning selection of artists, including Killing Joke, Beach Boys, John Lennon, The Velvet Underground and Marvin Gaye, as well as two originals by Johnny Depp, dubbed Sad Motherfuckin' Parade and This Is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr.
This Is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr became a catalyst for 18, in that Depp asked Beck to play lead guitar after he had played on Welcome to Bushwackers, from Hollywood Vampires' album, Rise, in 2019.
Beck says he was “blown away” by the track when he first heard it, and cites it as one of his favorites from 18. “That song is one of the reasons I asked him to make an album with me,” the guitarist adds.
The album's title is a reflection of the “youthful spirit” that was ignited in the pair when they began playing music together. “We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title, too,” Beck explains.
“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 says.
“I haven't had another creative partner like [Depp] for ages,” Beck continues. “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.”
Take a look at 18's track list and cover art – an illustration of Beck and Depp as 18-year-olds designed by Beck's wife Sandra – below.
- 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)
Jeff Beck is currently on the road with Johnny Depp in Europe, on a trek that's set to run until July 25.
Audiences were initially surprised to see the Pirates of the Caribbean star onstage in Sheffield, England last month, only days after the closing arguments were given in his widely-publicized defamation trial against his former wife, Amber Heard.
Depp had sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she wrote about her experience of being a domestic abuse survivor, though Depp wasn't mentioned by name in the article. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million.
Earlier this month, the jury in the trial ruled in favor of Depp, awarding him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Heard was also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages after the jury found that she had been defamed through Depp's attorney.