Billy Joel is set to deliver his first new song in nearly two decades, a single called “Turn the Lights Back On.” Coming from the Piano Man’s longtime label home of Columbia Records, the track will arrive on all digital platforms February 1st, alongside a limited edition 7-inch vinyl pressing and a lyric video on Joel’s YouTube channel.
Co-written by Freddy Wexler (who also produced), Arthur Bacon, and Wayne Hector (via Billboard),”Turn the Lights Back On” marks Joel’s first original material in 17 years. His last one-off single was 2007’s “All My Life,” a ballad written as a Valentine’s Day gift for his then wife, Katie Lee. His last album of pop material was 1993’s River of Dreams, and he released the classical collection Fantasies & Delusions in 2001.
News of the six-time Grammy winner returning to the studio is quite a surprise, as Joel has long been vocal about lacking the desire to write again. “I’m not crazy about going into a recording studio and doing that kind of life again, or taking on another project where there’s other people involved, arrangers and orchestrators and conductors and producers,” he told The New Yorker in 2014. “I don’t want to deal with it.”
But he recently teased the possibility of adding another Top 40 hit to his score of 33, saying at the December 19th edition of his Madison Square Garden residency, “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’ve got a little something we’ve been working on you might hear sometime.”
Get Billy Joel Tickets Here
Now is an interesting time for a new Joel song, as his 10-year MSG residency is scheduled to conclude with its 150th show on July 25th. He has a number of other tour dates scheduled throughout the year, including shows with Stevie Nicks and Sting; get tickets to all of Billy Joel’s upcoming concerts here for a chance to hear “Turn the Lights Back On” live.
For more Joel, revisit our season of The Opus podcast digging into the legacy of his classic album The Stranger. Listen to Episode 1 below, and find all the episodes wherever you get your podcasts.