Billy Joel - Turn The Lights Back On (2024)

Billy Joel has been a constant presence on the arena rock scene all during the 21st Century highlighted by his monthly, ten year residency at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden that is coming to an end in 2024.

On the other hand, hearing new music from the mega-star has become extremely rare. Joel's last full album of pop-rock music was the mediocre River Of Dreams in 1993. After that, he composed a dozen, classical piano pieces for Fantasies & Delusions, a CD featuring solo performances played by Richard Joo that was released in 2001.

Since then, the rocker has only delivered two additional songs: "All My Life" in 2007 - a love song to his third wife, Katie Lee - and "Christmas In Fallujah" a tune he wrote but never recorded and gave to a young singer-songwriter, Cass Dillon, to record.

After those two efforts Joel released nothing for seventeen years. Happily, the drought has ended with the song he performed recently at the 66th Grammy Awards. "Turn The Lights Back On" is available as a download on both iTunes and Amazon Music and as a limited edition, 7" inch single.

Joel seldom wrote in collaboration with others, but on this tune he did. "Turn The Lights Back On" was cowritten with Freddy WexlerWayne Hector and Arthur Bacon. Wexler -  who composed for Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Ariana Grande and others - produced the session with Joel.

The song is a love ballad, but according to Rolling Stone magazine some listeners believe Joel is also singing to his fans. "I’m late, but I’m here right now/And I’m trying to find the magic/That we lost somehow/Maybe I was blind/But I see you now."  It's a piano heavy arrangement that could easily fit on any of the Long Island native's popular studio records.

The piano player follows in the recent footsteps of The Beatles - whose last song, "Now and Then," became a hit - and The Rolling Stones, who released a new, full length album, Hackney Diamonds, within the last few months. All three artists proved there is still talent burning in some of the old, classic rockers.