The Library of Congress has unveiled the projects that have been added to the National Recording Registry this year. Among the newly-inducted works of art are albums from Alicia Keys, the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest.
As announced on Wednesday (April 13), Tribe’s 1991 LP The Low End Theory and Keys’ 2001 debut album Songs in A Minor are now included in the registry. Wu-Tang’s 1991 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — which shaped “the sound of hardcore rap and reasserted the creative capacity of the East Coast rap scene” — has also been added to the collection.
With the new announcement, the Library of Congress continues its annual process of selecting 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” sound recordings to be part of its records. Other projects making their way into the registry are Nat King Cole’s 1961 single “The Christmas Song,” “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey, Ricky Martin’s 1999 hit “Livin La Vida Loca” and “Bohemian Rapsody” from the British rock band Queen.
“The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation’s history and culture through recorded sound,” Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress said in a statement. “The national library is proud to help preserve these recordings, and we welcome the public’s input. We received about 1,000 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry.”
Humbled, Keys released a statement expressing her gratitude for the induction. “I’m so honored and grateful that Songs in A Minor, the entire album, gets to be recognized as such a powerful body of work that is just going to be timeless. But what is it about (the album) that I think resonates with everybody for so long? I just think it was so pure…,” she explained. “People hadn’t quite seen a woman in Timberlands and cornrows and really straight 100% off of the streets of New York performing classical music and mixing it with soul music and R&B … And people could find themselves in it. And I love that.”
“We are honored to have our work added to the prestigious National Recording Registry amongst so many other astounding works,” added Q-Tip of Tribe’s placement in the registry. “We are humbled and grateful for this acknowledgment. Thank you so, so much.”