Lou Reed Photographs
(Credit: Faber & Faber)

From Tom Waits to Prince: The playlist of 27 songs Lou Reed created just before his death

“The music is all. People should die for it. People are dying for everything else, so why not the music?”—Lou Reed.

Lou Reed, the focal point of The Velvet Underground and the endless champion of alternative American pop, had an insatiable appetite for music.

Having written, recorded and released no fewer than 22 solo albums, Reed initially propelled his talents to the forefront of the music industry with five highly celebrated studio albums with The Velvet Underground. Make no mistake about it, Reed devoured music in volume and considered songwriting as one of the higher forms of art.

While Reed tragically passed away in 2013 after suffering from liver disease, the 71-year-old remained hugely active up until that moment and released his final record, Lulu, alongside Metallica just two years prior. Later still, the former Velvet Underground member provided guest vocals on Synthetica, a record by Canadian indie rock band Metric, just months before his death.

Reed continually kept his finger on the pulse of contemporary and popular music. Taking a hands-on approach to the developing technology around him, Reed controlled his own Spotify account which hosted several different playlists of songs he liked from the radio, or, alternatively, general songs he was listening to at that time.

Entitled ‘What I’m listening to’, Reed’s final contributions to his creative Spotify account was to curate two playlists for his followers. Combining some more predictable selections with the likes of Roy Orbison, Prince, Tom Waits and more, Reed also managed to raise a few eyebrows when he includes artists such as Nicki Minaj, Robyn and more.

Stream the playlists, below.

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