Billy Joel Releases 'Turn the Lights Back On', First New Song in 17 Years

Billy Joel ending his Madison Square Garden Residency in 2024
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The song, 'Turn the Lights Back On,' dropped on Thursday.

Billy Joel is officially back!

On Thursday, the legendary singer, 74, dropped "Turn the Lights Back On," his first official song since 2007. The single features Joel's piano skills, voice, and signature lyrics examining life, love and regret. 

"I'm late, but I'm here right now / Though I used to be romantic, I forgot somehow / Time can make you blind / But I see you now as we're laying in the darkness / Did I wait too long to turn the lights back on?" he sings in the four-minute long song. 

You can listen to the new song in the lyric video in the player below: 

"Turn the Lights Back On" comes 17 years after the 23-time GRAMMY nominee released the songs "All My Life" and "Christmas in Fallujah." He dropped his last studio album, Fantasies and Delusions -- a classical composition project alongside pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo -- in 2001, although that project did not feature Joel's iconic voice. 

In the final song on his 1993 River of Dreams album, "Famous Last Words," Joel actually hinted at his retirement from writing and singing new albums. 

"And these are the last words I have to say / It’s always hard to say goodbye / But now it’s time to put this book away / Ain’t that the story of my life," he sings in the closing number to the album. 

In an interview with The New Yorker in 2014, Joel elaborated on his decision to stop creating albums after River of Dreams, which picked up four GRAMMY noms and featured songs like "No Man's Land" and "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)." 

"Some people think it’s because I’m lazy or I’m just being contrary," he said. "But, no, I think it’s just -- I’ve had my say. If I put out an album now, it would probably sell pretty well, because of who I am, but that’s no reason to do it. I’d want it to be good."

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The "She's Always a Woman To Me" singer is currently on a hot streak as it was recently announced he will take the stage at the GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 4. It's unclear what he plans to sing during the performance but it could be a chance to show off his new song. 

It's the start of a new chapter for Joel, who announced in 2023 that he would end his historic monthly residency at Madison Square Garden in 2024. His last show at the iconic New York venue will occur in July. Following his final performance, he will have played at the venue a total of150 times. 

"I'm kind of flabbergasted that it lasted as long as it did. My team tells me that we could continue to sell tickets, but ten years, 150 shows – all right already," Joel said in a statement at the time.