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Lou Reed: Listen to covers of five of his songs

By Mikael Wood

5:56 PM EDT, October 28, 2013

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Many, many words had already been written about Lou Reed's influence before the iconic New York rocker died Sunday at the age of 71.

But the death of the former Velvet Underground frontman has of course triggered a fresh wave of testimony, including some from those musicians Reed inspired.

"Lou Reed is the reason i do everything i do," tweeted Julian Casablancas of the Strokes on Sunday, while Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers said, "I love Lou reed so much. Always."

Other tributes have come in musical form, as when the electro-pop singer Sky Ferreira added a cover of Reed's song "Sunday Morning" to her show Sunday night at the El Rey.

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Additional covers are sure to crop up in concerts by other acts in the coming days and weeks; perhaps Kanye West (whose "Yeezus" was recently — and very enthusiastically — reviewed by Reed) will tackle something from "Metal Machine Music" during his performance Monday night at Staples Center.

Until then, here are five renditions of Reed's tunes by a handful of his admirers.

Cowboy Junkies, "Sweet Jane"

The Canadian alt-country outfit slowed down this classic from the Velvet Underground's 1970 album "Loaded," emphasizing the dreamy vulnerability buried beneath the noise in much of Reed's work.

U2, "Satellite of Love"

Bono and his bandmates were known to cover this tune from Reed's 1972 solo album "Transformer" on their early-'90s Zoo TV tour.

Big Star, "Femme Fatale"

The Memphis power-pop group recorded the Velvet Underground's tribute to Edie Sedgwick for its cult-fave "Third/Sister Lovers," released in 1978.

Beck, "Venus in Furs"

The Velvet Underground's 1967 debut (with this discordant highlight) was the subject of Beck's first Record Club project, in which the alt-rock veteran spearheads the re-recording of an entire album in one day.

R.E.M., "There She Goes Again"

Michael Stipe sang three of Reed's songs on R.E.M.'s 1987 rarities collection "Dead Letter Office," including this appealingly shambolic take on "There She Goes Again."

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Twitter: @mikaelwood

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