Over 25 years after the release of his last studio set, a group of Billy Joel fans are now petitioning the “Piano Man” to write and record a 13th studio album. River Of Dreams, Billy's last all original collection, was released on August 10th, 1993 and spent three weeks at Number One. The album's cover was painted by Billy's then wife, Christie Brinkley and snagged Rolling Stone's “Top Picks” award for “Best Album Cover Of The Year.” To date, the album has sold over five million copies in the U.S. alone.
During Billy's quarter-century exile from releasing rock music, aside from three new live sets, he composed the 2001 classical album Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions (Music For Solo Piano) and in 2007 recorded two “pop” songs, the big band-inspired “All My Life” — which was produced by the late-Phil Ramone — and the rocker “Christmas in Fallujah” featuring vocalist Cass Dillon.
The Change.org petition reads in full: (http://bit.ly/2DMtr2n):
Hello everyone. We are the Billy Joel fans and all of us are creating this petition in order to try to encourage the piano man legend to record a brand new studio album or two with brand new songs of original materials in the pop/rock genre at the recording studio at Columbia Records.
We have been wanting brand new studio albums from Billy Joel for a long time since 1993 and we can hardly wait for it anymore. Sadly, Billy Joel has not put out a new pop album since 1993's River Of Dreams and it would be great if he can starting writing and recording more new Billy Joel studio albums again. We want Billy Joel back as a recording artist again and it would be great if he can give us more new Billy Joel songs while he is still around.
So please take a chance to sign this petition if you want Billy Joel to record and release new studio albums again like he used to. Please share this petition to all Billy Joel fans out there. Thanks. Billy wherever you are, please record new studio albums again and put them out.
With decades now between Billy Joel and his last rock songs, we asked him why he's traded rock music for mostly unheard classical compositions: “The reason I stopped writing pop songs, and songs in general, is because I felt constrained by song form. There's an orthodoxy to pop; you're writing inside of a box. Y'know, it can't be too long, you have to repeat the verse over and over, you gotta have a hook, you gotta have lyrics in it, you gotta have rock n' roll instrumentation, you gotta have bass, drums, guitar, there has to be a voice taking the lead. Then I thought to myself, 'Well, why? Why? Who says I have to do this?'”
It's been a long 25 years since the release of the River Of Dreams album. Billy explained that he left the songwriting trade with a telling and poignant kiss-off: “I wrote a song called 'Famous Last Words.' I felt like I had reached a point where I wasn't gonna write songs anymore. It was sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It says, 'These are the last words I have to say/for that's the story of my life.' It just seemed like that was the time to write that song, and I kinda closed the book.”