We reported yesterday that following Lou Reed's death Sunday of liver disease, three of his tracks re-entered the U.K. charts. Today, the Nielsen SoundScan reported that his songs have seen a spike in the U.S. as well.
Reed is known for the fact that didn't sell many records during his career, but he ironically is hitting the charts in the afterlife (as many artists tend to do). After his death, radio play of "Walk On the Wild Side," "Sweet Jane," "Perfect Day" and "Dirty Blvd" increased significantly (140 percent). His album catalogue sold 3,000 copies on Sunday alone, a 607 perfect increase. As for digital sales, his solo songs saw a 3,000 percent increase within the first day of his death. Transformer and Rock N' Roll Animal even reached Amazon's Top 25.
As unfortunately and untimely has Reed's death was, it also has become the catalyst for his exposure to an audience that might never have listened to his material -other than possibly "Walk On the Wild Side" - otherwise.
Mark Hudson, rock buyer at music chain Trans World Entertainment, which initially struggled to meet the unexpected demand for CDs, told Rolling Stone, "It's a shame that people don't pay attention until something like this happens. But, yeah, [there was] a very healthy increase."
In comparison to Michael Jackson (2009), however, his posthumous sales were miniscule. Jackson sold about 125,000 albums after his death, beating out Elvis Presley (1977) and John Lennon (1980).
According to SoundScan, Reds best-selling posthumous albums so far have been Transformer and the Velvet Underground & Nico.
Time will tell how the 45th-anniversary edition of the Velvet Underground's classic White Light White Heat, which is out Dec. 3, will do.