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


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: