Earlier this week, Billy Joel released ‘Turn The Lights Back On,’ his first single in 17 years.
Explaining the reason for the extended hiatus, the iconic singer/songwriter said he had fallen out of love with the recording process and found writing lyrics “painful”.
Speaking with his co-writer Freddy Wexler on Audacy Check In’ Joel said “It was fun. Music is fun. Rock n’ roll was fun. It was all about having fun — and I kind of lost that and I turned the lights off because it wasn’t fun anymore.” “I studiously avoided it because songwriting had become painful. I have this high bar. I said to myself, ‘If I don’t reach that bar, I beat myself up and I punched myself and I hate myself.’ So, I stopped doing it because I got tired of feeling like that.”
Notwithstanding the above, when Billy heard what Freddy was working on two years ago, the Piano Man’s love for creating new music began to return.
“The melody, the chords, the chord progression, even the time signature was something that struck me immediately, and that’s how I relate to music,” said Billy Joel.”This particular lyric in this song, I’ve had these thoughts, I could have written these lyrics verbatim. I’ve chewed on these words and I’ve thought of these words, and I’ve said these words before. It was all kind of falling into place — and who am I to fight that?”
Joel is scheduled to perform ‘Turn The Lights …’ at the Grammy Awards on Sunday (2.05,), marking his first time playing at the ceremony in 22 years.