The famous quote that appeared in all the Lou Reed obituaries when he passed away last month involved the purchasing of Velvet Underground albums: "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." With the even more recent news of Morrissey releasing a live cover of "Satellite of Love" on December 3, it is also probable that each of these record-purchasers also covered a Lou Reed song.
It is easy to understand why. Lou Reed's colorful lyrics always made whoever sung them sound cool. His voice was an easy one to imitate, not changing its tone very often. There's also the fact that Reed has explained his philosophy on structuring a song by way of saying: "One chord is fine. Two chords is pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."
Over the years, Neil Young, R.E.M., and Nirvana have all covered his tunes. And if it wasn't for one famous interpreter of his songs, you probably never would have heard of Lou Reed.
See also: Lou Reed: We Remember the Legend