Billy Joel considers retiring after his Sydney and US concerts.

Billy Joel considers retiring after his Sydney and US concerts. Photo: AP

Billy Joel says he will retire from performing if concerts in Australia and the US later this year fail to inspire him.

Joel retired from making pop music many years ago, opting to concentrate on classical endeavours instead - but he has continued to play live, touring as a solo act and with Elton John.

But now he admits his time onstage could be coming to a close and he's hoping to use festival shows in Sydney and New Orleans to gauge if he's still got what it takes as a performer.

Joel tells ABC News Radio his upcoming Stone Music Festival in Sydney will serve as "a big test".

"I want to see if it's time for me to get off the stage," he says.

"There's a time when an athlete says I can't swing the bat anymore. So I get to feel it out... I don't want to be that guy; I don't want to be Spinal Tap."

Joel, 63, told Rolling Stone magazine earlier this year that he's not the entertainer he once was thanks to hip replacement surgery.

"Slowly but surely I'm kinda getting back to normal. I'd say I'm 85 per cent. I can walk OK. I can't run like I used to.

"Honestly, I'm not as good as I used to be. I'm not as athletic as I used to be. I don't jump off the piano anymore... and my voice has changed. It's lowered."

Joel will perform at the Stone Music Festival on April 21 and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival a week later.

He has no other dates scheduled for this year.

WENN