Billy Joel is back with new music for the first time in 17 years.
The singer-songwriter has announced the release of “Turn the Lights Back On,” his first solo song since 2007 and second since 1993. The track is slated to hit streaming services on February 1, and will additionally be released on limited edition 7-inch vinyl.
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Joel co-wrote the single with the song’s producer Freddy Wexler, who has worked on songs for artists spanning Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez to Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Additional writers for the song include Wayne Hector (Nicki Minaj, One Direction) and Arthur Bacon.
Joel has been gesturing towards new music since last month, when he posted a TikTok stating “we got a little something we’re working on you might hear some time.” Then, this past weekend, fans noticed that the Spotify canvas that showed when listening to Joel’s music had replaced the traditional cover art with an image bearing the statement, “Did I wait too long…” According to a release, “Did I wait too long… to turn the lights back on?” is a lyric from the song.
The 74-year-old last released “All My Life” as a one-off single in 2007. Prior to that, he recorded three cover songs for 1997’ “Greatest Hits Volume III,” including Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s “Hey Girl” and Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love,” the latter of which peaked at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.
He has also been low on album output since the turn of the century. His last full-length release came in 2001 with “Fantasies & Delusions,” a collection of classical compositions. And it’s been more than three decades since he last put out a pop record, which came in the form of 1993’s “River of Dreams.”
Joel hasn’t entirely been out of the spotlight in that time. He’s been a mainstay on the performance circuit, with numerous residencies booked at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Last July, he announced that his residence at the famed venue would come to an end in July 2024 with his 100th performance in the series.
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