Some 20 years since he released his last album of new songs, Billy Joel, who marks his 50th year as a professional entertainer in 2014, is enjoying a career resurgence. Demand for his live performances has never been hotter, with Joel set to play stadiums and arenas coast-to-coast this year. In December, Joel was feted at Kennedy Center Honors, and Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust – The Bridge To Russia, a documentary on the artist's groundbreaking 1987 trip to the former Soviet Union, debuted on Showtime Jan. 31.
And then there is Joel's precedent-setting run at Madison Square Garden, with “Billy Joel at The Garden” named a “franchise” at the arena for an open-ended slate of shows that began Jan. 27. The nine shows announced so far are all sold out, as are dates at such venues as Wrigley Field in Chicago, Nationals Stadium in Washington, D.C., and a three-night run at the Hollywood Bowl, among many others.
Joel spoke with Billboard in a wide-ranging interview that covers everything from the enduring nature of his catalog, to what he's been writing lately, and breaking the Beethoven code.