The National Recording Registry has just accepted an eclectic variety of musical triumphs, from Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” to N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton.”
Every year, the Library of Congress picks 25 titles, including both albums and songs, that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old. This latest batch spans music from 1888 to 1997, and will bring the total number of titles in the Registry to 475.
The list of accepted titles include Garland’s above-mentioned “Over the Rainbow” and N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton,” Barbra Stresiand’s “People,” Don McLean’s “American Pie,” David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, The Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, Richard Pryor’s Wanted: Live in Concert, the first episode of NPR’s All Things Considered, Vin Scully’s recording of the last Dodgers-Giants game at New York’s Polo Grounds, the original cast album of Broadway’s The Wiz, as well as unforgettable tracks from Wilson Pickett, Big Mama Thornton, Marty Robbins, Melba Moore, Judy Collins, Renee Fleming, Sonny Rollins and Sister Sledge.
“With few exceptions, American music is the whole of popular music,” McLean said in a statement after learning that his sweeping 1971 ballad, “American Pie,” was accepted to the Registry. “We have done it all, written the greatest songs and produced the greatest artists. I am so proud to be a part of this creative effort.”
Streisand, meanwhile, called it “humbling and gratifying” that her 1964 hit “People,” from composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill, had been selected.
“This is the prestigious treasure house in which American art is archived and acknowledged as part of the flow of our nation’s culture,” she said. “I believe ‘People’ touched our common desire to relate to others with love and caring, and I’ve always tried to express this in my renditions of this magical song.”