iTunes Vultures Over the Grave of Lou Reed…

A tribute is one thing.  A tribute delivered in front of the entire gift shop is another.  Which brings us to the iTunes Store, which had a prominently-placed Lou Reed memorial ready to go, less than 24 hours after the singer’s death.  Which makes perfect sense, since artists typically ‘experience’ a massive burst in sales immediately after their deaths.

Here’s what the front page of the iTunes Store currently looks like…

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…and here’s where it leads.

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31 Responses

  1. TheSixFinger

    I don’t understand the outrage. If, say, Stephen King died and I went to Barnes and Noble, I would expect a display of some sort with King’s books.

    What else are people coming to iTunes for except to buy (or browse) music? If they want information, bios or tributes, they can visit Wikipedia,, the artist’s homepage, and so on. The only thing I feel is in poor taste is when an artists’ catalog suddenly goes up in price when they die.

    • doop

      Exactly this.

      And this is the second post here in 24 hours insinuating that iTunes should have morals, or responsibility towards artists. Really, come on folks…

      Slow news week?

  2. TK

    This is hardly new. They do this any time a performer dies. Seriously, people are going to be going to iTunes and searching his name anyway to buy his stuff. Might as well put a link up and make it easy for them. That’s my two cents.

  3. Me

    I doubt it took that long for them to set this up. They probably just started setting it all up right after they heard the news.

  4. Vail, CO

    If people want to search for Lou Reed let them find it and buy it, and listen to it.

    Otherwise this is tasteless by Apple

  5. wallow-T

    My local used CD store had assembled a pyramid-ish display of used Lou Reed and Velvet Underground CDs by the checkout counter.

    This marketing is such a cliche that Paul Williams wrote the opening song about it in the cult classic movie “Phantom of the Paradise” back in the late 1970s. (“Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye”)

  6. Bruce Burbank

    Sony raising the prices on Whitney Houston albums immediately after she died was totally out of bounds. So I don’t find anything wrong with iTunes putting Lou Reed front and center this week, as long as the prices of all of these Lou releases are the same now as they were before his death.

  7. Grow Up You Big Babies

    As long as I can remember indie record stores set up displays to move units on artists that died. This is nothing new and nothing shocking.

    Would you be surprised to know that the catalog departments of the major labels have plans in place for the passing of older artists? True.

    Grow up you big babies. This is a business.

  8. Stephen

    This story is silly and inflammatory for no reason. Album sales of a recently deceased artists always rise when right after they die. I worked at iTunes. This is simple merchandising. If I wanted to find a Lou Reed’s releases in iTunes, their collection page represents it well. Move on to something more newsworthy.

  9. discography

    Just when I think this site can’t get any worse. Pathetic. Paul always comes off as some guy who is always miserable, never happy, complains about everything, talks endlessly about nothing but sounds self-important… probably a real treat to be around in real life. A shame he took what could of been a real platform for the industry and trashed it. I don’t know why I haven’t deleted this site yet. I’m just feeding the beats to pushes out this shit.

  10. jw

    I just don’t see how this is the least bit inappropriate. Is it tasteless for a magazine to feature a deceased cultural icon on their cover? Or for a news program to lead with the story? I just don’t see the logic behind this accusation.

    As far as I’m concerned, the more people who haven’t been exposed to Lou Reed who might be through these memorials, the better.

  11. R.Diddy

    This is a news story? Must be a quiet day in music. SHOCK HORROR – iTunes want to sell music. For fucks sake, stop wasting my time here.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      You (and other commenters here) are insinuating that taste and commerce are mutually exclusive concepts. No one’s saying rip down the content or refuse a sale, at least this article isn’t.

      • Anonymous

        Wouldn’t it be weird and almost disrespectful if iTunes had ignored his death?

        Very few people have meant as much to contemporary music — in fact, I can’t think of anyone except Berry, Dylan and McCartney if we stick to guys who are still around — and I think it’s beautiful to see his covers lined up side by side now.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          I’m not clear where I suggested that iTunes should ignore the death? Again, I refer you to my comment above re: taste v. commerce.

          • TK

            But Paul, I think the reaction stems from the fact that there is no alternate suggestion given in the article for what they SHOULD be doing. It’s just kind of a “hey look at what these vultures are doing” and really no explanation of what you would like to see them do instead. If they’re not to ignore his death, and they’re not to put a link to his artist page on iTunes, what are they to do in your opinion?

          • Really?

            You’re really going to lecture us about taste vs. commerce? This from
            the site that posted the ultimate click bait article about an “iTunes executive” calling DMN “disgusting”. And then trying to quell the subsequent backlash with a few “women in the industry” articles. Sorry fella, you don’t occupy any moral high ground. You’re trying to make a buck like everyone else, often at other’s expense.

  12. Anonymous

    Welcome to the new world order…. now bend over…… it’s just the legal tip of big tech’s exploitative business model in action …within hours of Lou Reed’s death the pirate, file locker & torrent sites had re-uploaded & highlighted Lou’s complete catalog of music, books, anything Lou that could be digitized and monetized with Google ads. It’s a bonanza for Big Tech … ….priceless.

  13. Mitchell Koulouris

    I really don’t understand what the big deal is. I worked in a Tower Recirss the day Elvis Presley died and we had barely enough product to handle demand for an afternoon. Paul, get off your high horse and get real.

  14. Stephen

    Seems like a lot of unnecessary iTunes bashing on a non issue. I dont see the taste vs. commerce argument. Normally I’m supportive of this site, but this article is not newsworthy, accurate, nor bears anything worthy of further debate. move on to other more newsworthy issues. And if your going to report on iTunes, find something more relevant.

  15. Al Wallis

    A little tasteless perhaps but not a crime. Like it or not the iTunes Store is a business.

  16. Keith

    And if they didn’t have a tribute page people would criticize them for that too. I would rather see him acknowledged than not

    • Twerk THIS

      I think you can do a tribute page without 100 releases in tow.

  17. lifer

    the headline tells us more about DMN than the article says about itunes and lou reed

  18. Michael

    As one of Al Jourgensen’s former managers had the utter gall to say to his face – “You’re worth more to us dead than alive, because then we can sell you in pieces.”

    It’s always tasteless but it’s how the record industry has always worked so this shouldn’t be a surprize to anyone when it happens.

  19. JacobChangs

    When the World Comes Down
    If it doesn’t matter then just turn around.