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The Beatles own John Lennon has recordings added to US Library of Congress

1 year ago

The Beatles own John Lennon has recordings added to US Library of Congress
Credit: Ben Birchall PA

Music by John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, The Police and Eurythmics have been selected for preservation in the US National Recording Registry.

The US Library of Congress announced that 25 recordings have been selected for their cultural significance, including Madonna’s Like A Virgin album from 1984, Mariah Carey’s enduring hit All I Want For Christmas Is You (1994) and the music from the Super Mario Bros video game.

Mariah Carey/Madonna (AP)

The Super Mario Bros theme by composer Koji Kondo becomes the first music from a video game to receive the honour.

Other sound artefacts spanning more than a century are being inducted into the registry, from the first known recording of mariachi music in 1908 and 1909 by Cuarteto Coculense, to 2012’s Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra by composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

The Super Mario Bros music, officially known as the Ground Theme, written by young Nintendo composer Koji Kondo, becomes the first music from a video game to enter the registry, which called it in a news release “the most recognisable video game theme in history”.

The tune has appeared in countless Mario-related incarnations, including in the new Super Mario Bros Movie.

Queen Latifah becomes the first female rapper with a recording in the registry with the inclusion of her 1989 album All Hail the Queen, whose songs include the feminist anthem Ladies First.

Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox of Eurythmics Credit: Ian West PA

Other full albums receiving recognition include 1970’s Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, 1983’s Synchronicity by The Police, and 1985’s Black Codes (From the Underground) by jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Singles making the list include Bobby Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe (1967), John Lennon’s Imagine (1971), Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven (1971), John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads (1971), and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (1977).

Those recordings are joined by a pair of 1980s standards: Flashdance…What A Feeling by Irene Cara (1983) and Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics (1983).

The inductees include two non-musical entries: astronomer Carl Sagan’s recording of his book about humanity’s place in the universe, Pale Blue Dot, and NBC radio reporter Dorothy Thompson’s commentaries and analysis from Europe during the run-up to the Second World War in 1939.

The US Library of Congress selects the titles for preservation for their cultural and historic importance to the American soundscape.

Artists with recordings added to the registry in recent years include Janet Jackson, Louis Armstrong and Dr Dre.

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