Billy Joel's New Song is being released Thursday.
31/01/2024 17:39 in News

Turn The Lights Back On is available from the 1st February, and is being described as "ushering in the next chapter of his story".

Billy Joel is set to return with his first new solo single since 2007 – and only his second since 1993.

Turn the Lights Back On will be released on 1 February, appearing on streaming services and as a 7-in vinyl record. It is co-written by Joel and its producer Freddy Wexler, a mainstream pop figure with credits on tracks by artists such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Two other co-writers include British pop mainstay Wayne Hector, the man behind numerous No 1 singles for Westlife, JLS and more.


Joel had teased the new song in an onstage video posted to his TikTok account last month, saying “we got a little something we’re working on you might hear some time”. Promotional materials refer to Joel’s single as “ushering in the next chapter of his story”, possibly alluding to further new material.

With his cheerfully un-hip pop-rock style, Joel has charmed the mainstream since his breakthrough in the early 1970s, selling more than 160m records worldwide thanks to hits such as Uptown Girl and We Didn’t Start the Fire, and topping the US album chart four times.

He retired from songwriting following 1993’s US chart-topper River of Dreams, later explaining: “I couldn’t be as good as I wanted to be. I was always trying to feel like there was a real progression in my work, and eventually I realised I was only going to be X good. Because of that I knew I was going to beat myself up for not being better. So I stopped. That’s it.” Since then there have been occasional cover versions but he has only released one new solo single, 2007’s All My Life.

Joel has continued to tour, though, weathering the occasional moment of doubt such as in 2010 when he told his band he was considering quitting. In 2018 he told Vulture that he was adapting his setlist to reflect his age and what he saw as a worsening voice: “I’m already struggling. I wrote most of the songs that I’m doing when I was in my 20s and 30s and it ain’t easy to hit those notes in my 60s. We’ve dropped the keys of some songs already. Hopefully it’s not that noticeable.”

A four-star Guardian review of his 2023 concert in London’s Hyde Park described him as “a precision-tooled entertainment machine” and “an expert pasticheur, re-inhabiting the sounds of his youth: Motown, doo-wop, Tin Pan Alley”.

He is set to conclude his long-running residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden in July, ending with his 150th show in the monthly series. His other tour dates this year include co-headlining sets with Stevie Nicks and, separately, Sting.

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