English rock guitarist and legend Jeff Beck has just released a new cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation,” with a seemingly unlikely collaboration partner in actor/musician Johnny Depp. “Isolation” has been quite a popular song that artists have chosen to cover recently in wake of social distancing protocols; Brooklyn based indie pop band Dirty Projectors released their cover of “Isolation” in March in response to the coronavirus.
The cover stays true to the original melody of the song, while injecting a more bluesy, distorted sound that combines Beck’s classic rock background with Depp’s grungier style. The blending of Beck’s epic guitar ability with Depp’s dark lyrical delivery makes their cover truly unique, as they combine to provide a cover to a song that already contains profound lyrics that adds mystical instrumentation.
“Isolation” originally appeared on Lennon’s debut solo album, Plastic Ono Band, in 1970. Depp spoke about the tune and their decision to release it now, despite recording it over a year ago: “Jeff Beck and I recorded this song Isolation last year, as our take on a beautiful John Lennon tune. 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 also added some insight into his and Depp’s musical history: “Johnny and I have been working on music together for a while now and we recorded this track during our time in the studio last year. 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.” Beck also added that him and Depp plan to release more music they worked on together “in a little while”.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat