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Lou Reed’s Album Sales Rise 607% Following Death

The late Lou Reed's catalog of music sees great gains this week, following his death on Sunday, Oct. 27.

The late Lou Reed’s catalog of music sees great gains this week, following his death on Sunday, Oct. 27.

As Nielsen SoundScan’s sales tracking week ended on Oct. 27, Billboard’s new sales charts reflect less than one day since Reed’s passing. (SoundScan provides data to Billboard for its music chart rankings.) Thus, we’ll probably see even larger increases for his music a week from now, after a full seven days have passed following his death.

Remembering Lou Reed

Reed’s catalog of albums sold 3,000 last week — up 607% from the less than 1,000 the week previous. Reed was also a member of the band the Velvet Underground, which sees its album sales rise to 3,000 as well — up by 236%.


His best selling album in the last week was “Transformer,” with 1,000 sold (up 527%). The Velvet Underground’s largest seller was its 1967 debut “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” with 1,000 (up 146%).

In terms of digital songs, Reed sold 17,000 downloads last week — up from 2,000 the week previous (a gain of 590%). The Velvet Underground’s song sales grew to 5,000 — up from 1,000 the week previous (a gain of 410%).

Reed’s largest selling song last week was also his biggest chart hit on the Billboard Hot 100, “Walk On the Wild Side.” It sold 6,000 downloads (up by 729%) and debuts at No. 38 on the Rock Digital Songs chart. “Walk On the Wild Side” reached No. 16 on the Hot 100 in 1973.

Velvet Underground’s biggest song in the past week was “Sweet Jane,” with 1,000 downloads sold (up by 521%).

“Walk On the Wild Side” also, unsurprisingly, proved to be one of Reed’s most popular songs on the streaming music service Spotify in the wake of his death. His catalog of songs earned a 3,000% increase in streams, globally, in the 12 hours following the news of his passing on Sunday.