Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp’s highly anticipated musical collaboration, 18, is available today! The duo’s 13-track album, dubbed 18, is available on CD and digitally, with a 180-gram black vinyl version coming on September 30. Beck and Depp will wrap their European tour on July 29 in Paris. Beck is planning a U.S. tour this fall, dates to be announced shortly.
The cover features an illustration of Beck and Depp as 18-year-olds that was drawn and designed by Beck’s wife Sandra. 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.”
Jeff Beck found a kindred spirit in Johnny 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. “We were going to call the album ‘Kitchen Sink’ because we threw everything in it,” the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says with a laugh. “The only game plan we had was to play songs we like and see where they took us.”
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 choice of those particular tracks, Beck says, reflects a pattern that played out across the entire album. “We suggested songs the other might not think of. It pushed both of us out of our comfort zones. Johnny got me excited about ‘Venus In Furs,’ and I persuaded him to try ‘Ooo Baby Baby.’ Interesting things happen when you’re open to trying something different.”