Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck shared a heavy take on John Lennon’s “Isolation,” which marks the pair’s debut single as a duo after they spent the past few years working on music together behind the scenes.
The tune finds the pair transforming Lennon’s tidy piano rocker into a moody, bluesy ripper. On guitar, Beck drifts effortlessly, as always, from nimble picking to scorching heroics, while Depp delivers a sturdy vocal performance, bellowing: “The sun will never disappear/ But the world may not have many years/Isolation.” The “Isolation” cover also features two longtime Beck collaborators, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Rhonda Smith on bass.
Depp and Beck made their live debut last September at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Texas, and have performed their rendition of “Isolation” live several times since then. This new studio version was also recorded last year, and in a statement, Beck said he and Depp decided to release it early as people continue to self-quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic: “We weren’t expecting to release it so soon, but given all the hard days and true ‘isolation’ that people are going through in these challenging times, we decided now might be the right time to let you all hear it.”
Depp added: ” Lennon’s poetry — ‘We’re afraid of everyone. Afraid of the Sun!’ — seemed to Jeff and me especially profound right now, this song about isolation, fear, and existential risks to our world. So we wanted to give it to you, and hope it helps you make sense of the moment or just helps you pass the time as we endure isolation together.”
Beck and Depp are reportedly prepping more music, although it’s unclear when it will arrive or in what form. “You’ll be hearing more from Johnny and me in a little while,” Beck said in his statement, “but until then, we hope you find some comfort and solidarity in our take on this Lennon classic.”