Remembering Lou Reed: The Velvet Underground & Solo Live Jams Spotify Playlist

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Rock ‘n’ roll legend Lou Reed died on this date in 2013 at the age of 71. An archetypal New Yorker and frontman for the seminal art-rock pioneers The Velvet Underground, Reed was also successful as a solo musician, artist, poet and cultural icon.

Throughout his career, Reed was a charismatic and attention-grabbing live performer. With The Velvet Underground, and later with his various solo endeavors, Reed continually enchanted and engaged audiences, often leading long, drawn-out, improvised passages that could last several minutes. This edition of Saturday Stream presents a Spotify Playlist of Lou jamming out songs for lengthy stretches of sonic mesmerization.

The playlist begins in 1966 with a 28+ minute lo-fi recording of the VU performing “Melody Laughter” in Columbus, Ohio — one of the few “listenable” live tapes made with Nico in the band. A nearly as long instrumental “The Nothing Song” follows. The longest track on the playlist (36:53) is unsurprisingly a VU performance of the regularly expansive “Sister Ray” from 1969 in San Francisco. There’s also a mighty “Ocean” from that same show.

There are early-1970s solo recordings of Reed performing classic VU songs “Heroin,” “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Sweet Jane,” “Venus In Furs” and others, as well as his post-Velvet favorites such as “Walk On The Wild Side.” Take a nearly four-hour dive into drone and deep jams via the playlist below: