Billy Joel Releases New Song After Almost Two Decades

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The album cover for Billy Joel’s new single, “Turn the Lights Back On.” The cover consists of Joel playing the piano under a spotlight. (Photo courtesy of Darcy Meehan)

Billy Joel published his new single titled “Turn the Lights Back On,” on February 1, 2024. This long-awaited release puts him on the growing list of legendary musicians returning to songwriting after long hiatuses.

The song is Joel’s first in 17 years, following his release of “Christmas in Fallujah” in 2007. Its message is directed toward his fans, with a question on Joel’s behalf, hoping his fans will still appreciate his work.

“Did I wait too long / to turn the lights back on?” sings Joel in the last lines of the chorus, wondering if the release of his song is too little, too late.

Despite Joel’s worry, “Turn the Lights Back On” has quickly risen to popularity, ascending to No. 11 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary list. Joel also performed the song at the Grammy Awards on February 4, drawing massive attention from millions of viewers.

In addition to his new song, Joel is the creator of several big hits such as “Vienna” and “Piano Man.” He is one of the most iconic pianists in pop music and has had lasting fame since the early 1970s. 

Joel has also been a resident at Madison Square Garden over the last 10 years where he puts on at least one show every month. However, his residency will soon come to an end. On July 25, 2024, Joel will perform one final time at the Garden, marking his 150th lifetime show.

Casey Sullivan, sophomore, and a huge Billy Joel fan, said, “I’ve seen him twice in Madison Square Garden, and I love his music so much.”   

Sullivan was very excited when Joel’s new single came out. “I appreciate [the song] because the lyrics and the title are a very metaphorical way of saying how he hasn’t released a song in a while… and apologizing to [his fans],” said Sullivan.

Other new albums in the last year from legacy artists include Paul Simon’s The Seven Psalms, Dolly Parton’s Rockstar, and the Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds. The Beatles also released a new single titled, “Now and Then.” 

Are all of these new releases a sign of more to come? Billy Joel and other stars of pop, rock, and other genres have shaped the music industry, and now it seems they are producing even more spectacular work for the younger generations to enjoy.

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