Billy Joel’s latest single, “Turn The Lights Back On,” arrives as a symbol of nostalgia and introspection, marking his first foray back into the music scene after a 17-year hiatus. This song breaks the long silence since his 2007 single “Christmas in Fallujah,” and it’s his first significant release since his last studio album, “River of Dreams” in 1993, which many interpreted as his swan song to the music industry​​​​.

Joel, a six-time Grammy winner and recipient of the prestigious Legend Award in 1991, has not been entirely absent from music, continuing to perform live, notably holding a historic residency at Madison Square Garden and performing with other legendary artists like Stevie Nicks, Sting, and Rod Stewart​​​​. His decision to release “Turn The Lights Back On” in 2024, accompanied by a performance at the 66th Grammy Awards, signals not just a return to recording but an invitation to reflect on his illustrious career and the passage of time​​.


The song itself is mostly a romantic ballad  serving as a message to fans who have patiently awaited his return. It’s a collaborative effort, with Joel, Grammy-nominee Freddy Wexler and pop hitmakers Arthur Bacon and Wayne Hector for the songwriting and production. This team has crafted a piece that blends Joel’s classic sound with contemporary elements, making it a strong addition to his discography​​.

“Turn The Lights Back On” is more than just a song though; it’s a reflective sentiment that explores themes of regret and hope, with Joel questioning, “Did I wait too long… To turn the lights back on.” A lyric video and its accompanying limited edition vinyl release symbolize Joel’s journey from the shadows back into the limelight, ready to embrace his next chapter​​​​.

Billy Joel’s return with “Turn The Lights Back On” is a really a big deal for music fans, offering a blend of the familiar and the new. It not only commemorates his vast contributions to music but also signals his willingness to evolve and engage with a world that has dramatically changed since his last release. With this song, Joel reassures his audience that while the lights may have dimmed, they are now shining brightly once again, inviting listeners old and new to partake in his ongoing musical journey.

It’s been ar too long since I’ve seen the New York icon in concert – Nov. 9, 1982 as part of The Nylon Curtain to be exact – and I eagerly wait for my next opportunity. For me, the Billy Joel lights were never turned off, they were just set on a very low dim waiting to be turned up once again.


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