Jeff Beck will release his first new album in six years, Loud Hailer – named after another word for a megaphone – this summer. The record contains 11 tracks that span funk, electronic music, soul and the blues and an emphasis on vocal songs. The record will come out digitally and on CD and LP on July 15th.
"I really wanted to make a statement about some of the nasty things I see going on in the world today," Beck said in a statement. "I loved the idea of being at a rally and using this loud device to shout my point of view."
The guitarist previously told Rolling Stone his aim with the album was to move past "guitar nerd" albums, which is why he teamed with singer Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg of the London group Bones, who wrote the songs and their lyrics with him. Beck met them at Queen drummer Roger Taylor's birthday party and after seeing them live, he drafted them to help him to redefine his sound.
"I thought, 'If I don't change course now [musically], I'll be stuck with that Guitar World [magazine] thing, and that's not where I come from at all,'" Beck said at a listening preview of the album. "Even though I've been on about 400 of their front covers, I'm not that person."
At the listening event earlier this year, Rolling Stone asked if he intended the LP to be a protest album. "It's an observation," he said. "It's undeniable when [Rosie] sings, 'plastic fantastic little creatures,' it's complaining about the plasticity of reality shows like American Idol and all this, where 99.5 percent of it is just crap and you should never be exposed to it, just to get that little morsel of talent," he said. "That, to me, is just the worst, so that's my little poke at that."
Once the album is out, Beck will hit the road for a tour with Buddy Guy. He will also stage a special concert at the Hollywood Bowl on August 10th, with guests yet to be announced, to commemorate his 50-year career. The latter show will include an orchestra.
This year, he's also putting out his first official book, Beck01, which focuses on his two passions, rock & roll and hot-rodding cars. Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti guitarist John McLaughlin wrote the foreword, which begins, "Jeff Beck is my all-time favorite guitarist, what do I say after that?" The book, which features more than 400 rare and previously unpublished photos, will be hand-bound in leather and aluminum and each copy will be signed by the author.
Loud Hailer Track List:
1. "The Revolution Will Be Televised"
2. "Live in the Dark"
3. "Pull It"
4. "Thugs Club"
5. "Scared for the Children"
6. "Right Now"
9. "The Ballad of the Jersey Wives"