Billy Joel has not released a pop studio album since 1993. He surprised fans with a new song, "Turn the Lights Back On", which he co-wrote with Freddy Wexler. The song is a catchy and upbeat tune that reflects Joel's optimism and resilience in the face of the pandemic.
Wexler, who is also a fan of Joel, revealed to Rolling Stone how he got the opportunity to work with his idol. He said that he met Joel two years ago and asked him if he had any unfinished songs, he could listen to in the hopes of possibly finishing them. While they did take a detour to work on "Turn the Lights Back On", which Wexler brought to Joel, he said they continue to work on some of the unreleased material.
“Billy’s voice is like a bottle of red. It actually gets better with age… I’m as determined as ever that if the process can remain fun or at least not too painful for him, the possibilities are endless,” Wexler said.
However, Wexler also admitted that he is cautious about raising the expectations for a new album from Joel, who has been reluctant to record new music for decades. Wexler said that he is trying to keep the collaboration low-key and organic, without putting any pressure on Joel.
“I’m nervous that if the expectation is so great for an album, and it becomes a press thing for Billy, I think he will shut down. I’ve been trying to have this be where it’s like, maybe he’ll do a second song, and then a third song and then organically…you know what I mean? But there’s been no talk of making an album,” Wexler said.
Joel's last pop studio album was River of Dreams, which came out in 1993 and featured hits like "The River of Dreams" and "All About Soul". Since then, Joel has focused on performing live, especially at his monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, which he started in 2014.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]