Radiohead‘s OK Computer, the Doors‘ self-titled 1967 debut and Joan Baez‘ 1960 album Joan Baez are among the 25 recorded works that have been selected for inclusion into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Lauryn Hill‘s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Sly and the Family Stone’s Stand!, the Righteous Brothers’ 1964 single “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” and Ben E. King’s classic “Stand By Me” were also picked for the Library of Congress’ Class of 2014, bringing the total number of inducted recordings to 425, Variety reports.
The list’s choices range from comedic (Steve Martin’s 1978 LP A Wild and Crazy Guy) and historic (radio coverage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s funeral from April 14, 1945) to influential (Blind Lemon Jefferson’s 1928 blues single “Black Snake Moan” and “Match Box Blues”) and educational (a 1995 collection of Sesame Street‘s “all-time platinum hits”).
The earliest recording from the Class of 2014 is a collection of Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings from the University of California, Santa Barbara, consisting of “over 600 homemade cylinder recordings made primarily in the 1890s, 1900s and 1910s,” the Library of Congress writes. The most contemporary recording, edging out Radiohead and Hill, is the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s 1999 performance of Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman. While nearly every decade from the 1890s to the 1990s is represented, nothing from the 1980s was deemed Congress-worthy this time around.
In their explanations of why each recording was selected, the Library of Congress writes of Radiohead’s OK Computer, “On their third album, Radiohead create an information-age dystopia characterized by psychopaths, corrupt politicians, ill-behaved consumers, tyrannical robots, airline disasters, car crashes and failed safety protocols. For the album, the band had mostly stripped away such alt-rock signposts as personalized lyrics, sinus-clearing guitars and thunderous bass and drums. The ghosts of the Pixies and Nirvana have been decisively exorcised. The presence of fin de siècle electronic dance music, jazz, 20th-century classical and dub are all palpable.”
As for why The Doors was picked, “The Doors as a rock group was an unusual assemblage – a jazz keyboardist, a flamenco guitarist, a jazz drummer and a poet vocalist – that somehow coalesced into a band with a sound unlike that of its peers.” Check out the Library of Congress for the full list.
“Congress understood the importance of protecting America’s aural patrimony when it passed the National Recording Preservation Act 15 years ago,” Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a statement. “By preserving these recordings, we safeguard the words, sounds and music that embody who we are as a people and a nation.”