Billy Joel Announces New Song ‘Turn the Lights Back On’ – Ericatement

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Billy Joel is coming back with his first new song in 17 years!

Though Joel, 74, plans to end his long-running monthly residency at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the curtain isn’t lowering on his career just yet. On Monday, January 22, Joel announced that he will soon end his nearly two-decade break from releasing new music with “Turn The Lights Back On.” Due on February 1, the song is a “classic Billy Joel-style tune, embodying the hallmarks of his signature sound and ushering in the next chapter of his story,” according to a press release.

The song’s title is part of the lyrics, in which Joel asks, “Did I wait too long…to turn the lights back on?”

Joel’s latest effort was produced by the Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer Freddy Wexler, who’s written for Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber (“Stuck with U”), Selena Gomez (“Slow Down”), Pink (“My Attic”), Demi Lovato (“Without The Love”) and more. Wexler and Joel cowrote “Turn The Lights Back On” with Arthur Bacon and Wayne Hector. The song will arrive with a lyric video shared via Joel’s official YouTube channel, and a limited-edition 7” vinyl record of the track is also for sale.

Joel previously hinted that something new was on its way in December 2023, sharing a snippet via TikTok of stage banter from one of his concerts. “I have good news and bad news,” he said while seated at the piano. “I’ll give you the bad news first. We don’t have anything new to play for you. The good news is you don’t have to sit through something you have no idea what it is. Although, we got a little something we’re working on you might hear sometime.”

Billy Joel Will Release His First New Song in Nearly 20 Years

Billy Joel performs a New Years Eve Concert at Madison Square Garden in 1982
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Though Joel has remained active on the stage, he’s been a ghost in the recording studio. In 2001, he released Fantasies & Delusions, which was seemingly his final album. It was also his only LP to feature classical compositions performed by his friend and fellow pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo. Before that, Joel’s last major album was 1993’s River of Dreams.

In 2007, Joel released “All My Life,” a standalone song written for his then-wife, Katie Lee, as an anniversary gift. That same year, Joel released “Christmas in Fallujah,” a rock song featuring Cass Dillion on vocals.

Joel told Rolling Stone in 2019 that he hadn’t stopped writing music entirely. “I just don’t record it,” he said, “and [the music is] not in song form. It’s another kind of music altogether. It’s purely for my own edification. I don’t feel compelled to record it. I don’t feel compelled to make myself be relevant. Like I said, I lived the rock & roll life, and I’m not writing that anymore.”

In June 2023, Joel announced that he would end his recurring concert series at Madison Square Garden, which began in January 2014. His long-running residency will officially conclude in July 2024 with his 150th lifetime performance at the venue. A representative for Joel confirmed to The Guardian at the time that though the MSG residency was coming to an end, the “Piano Man” was not retiring.