Johnny Depp, Jeff Beck team up for album of cover songs

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is teaming up with a guitar icon to release an album of cover songs. Photo credit: Getty Images

Hollywood star Johnny Depp, who last week won a near-total victory in a defamation suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, and English guitarist Jeff Beck will release an album of mainly covers next month, after taking to the stage together.

Called 18, the 13-track album will be released on July 15. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor performed alongside Beck at several UK venues in the past two weeks.

"It's almost like you've been through a record store and gone jumping from one genre to another," Beck told Reuters on Friday, saying they first began working on the album at Depp's home in France.

"There's a couple of Motown, there's a couple of Beach Boy covers on... It sounds pretty good for a home recording."

Depp and Beck have recorded music since 2019 for the album, which also features two original songs by Depp, who has his own band the Hollywood Vampires. One song is about actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.

"We slowly built songs that we just like. We didn't really make any design," Beck said.

"He has... a very distinctive [voice] and he gets music - hopefully I've enabled him to open up to some songs that he wouldn't otherwise have been interested in."

Last week, Depp, 58, won more than US$10 million in damages after a jury in Virginia ruled Heard defamed him when she claimed she was a survivor of sexual violence.

The Aquaman actress, who was awarded US$2 million after the jury also determined she was defamed, will appeal the ruling, her attorney has said. 

Upon the verdict, Depp said the jury gave him his life back.

Beck said: "I hope I have helped him a little bit by having some kind of understanding and closeness and joking, and just keeping the fun thing going."

Beck was speaking on the sidelines of a blue plaque event honouring late guitarist Jimi Hendrix at the London Hard Rock Hotel. The building was formerly the Cumberland Hotel, where Hendrix often resided before his death in 1970.

"It was one of the biggest vacuums left in rock 'n roll," Beck said.