“Caroline, No” is available on forthcoming project
Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp have revealed another track from their upcoming album, 18, a stirring instrumental cover of the Beach Boys “Caroline, No,” which is available digitally along with an accompanying live music video.
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. 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,” reflects Beck.
In Depp, Jeff Beck found a kindred spirit 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.”
“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 adds of Beck.
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.”
Depp justifies Beck’s faith on the new album by showing off his incredible emotional range on songs like The Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs,” the Everly Brothers’ ballad “Let It Be Me” and Marvin Gaye’s soul classic “What’s Going On.” 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).”
The project will be available on CD and digitally on July 15th, with a 180-gram black vinyl version coming on September 30th. 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 18, Beck has launched a European tour, with Depp as special guest, which will conclude on July 25th at L’Olympia in Paris.