Billy Joel Turns the Lights Back On
The Piano Man is back with a new song.
Above is the official video for “Turn the Lights Back On,” Billy Joel’s first new pop song since.
WaPo (“Billy Joel releases his first new song in 17 years“):
Billy Joel released his first song in nearly two decades Thursday morning, resuming a highly successful songwriting career that many considered to be all but over.
The new song, “Turn the Lights Back On,” is a classic Joel pop ballad about returning to an old love, while also winking to fans who have waited for the Grammy-winning artist to release new music.
Joel announced the new single on Jan. 22, with a short Instagram video. He previously teased new music in December during an onstage performance, telling the crowd, “We’ve got a little something we’ve been working on you might hear sometime.” Speculation grew when his official Facebook page changed its cover photo to an image with the phrase, “Did I wait too long ….” (It has since changed to a promotion photo for the new single.)
This is Joel’s first single since 2007, when he released “All My Life” (which was reportedly a Valentine’s Day gift for his then-wife, Katie Lee) and “Christmas in Fallujah,” a holiday tune he wrote about soldiers in Iraq that was performed by Cass Dillon. In 2001, he composed a classical music album, “Fantasies & Delusions.”
Joel has won five Grammy Awards during his much-celebrated career. His first came in 1978 when he won record and song of the year for “Just the Way You Are.”
That songwriting career came to an apparent halt in 1993 after Joel released his album “River of Dreams.” He suggested an end to his musical journey on the album’s final song, “Famous Last Words,” when he sang: “And these are the last words I have to say/ It’s always hard to say goodbye/ But now it’s time to put this book away/ Ain’t that the story of my life.”
In 2018, Joel told Vulture that he had stopped writing music in part for his mental health. “I would drink to try and ease the pain of not being as good as I wanted to be,” he said. “It was a vicious cycle, so I stopped.”
But he never completely closed the door on a return. “I’m never going to say never,” he told Rolling Stone in 2019. “I may come up with an idea that could become a song. I may write a movie soundtrack. I may write a symphony. I don’t know. Anything’s possible.
That Joel is still touring and again putting out new music at 74 (he turns 75 in May) would be more remarkable if he weren’t considerably younger than the sitting President and his likely challenger. Or the Rolling Stones.
Still, it’s very obviously a Joel song from the first moments and, on one listen, pretty good.