Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”, Mariah Carey’s seasonal staple “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and Daddy Yankee’s reggaeton blockbuster “Gasolina” are among 25 audio recordings to be selected for induction into the US Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.
Recordings can be nominated by the public and are chosen based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic significance to be preserved as part of the nation’s sound heritage. 2023’s additions bring the National Recording Registry titles total to 625 – a tiny portion of the national library’s recorded sound collection of nearly 4 million items.
Spanning over 100 years from 1908 to 2012, the latest picks range from the first recordings of Mariachi music and early Blues to radio journalism as World War II broke out, as well as iconic sounds from pop, country, rock, R&B, jazz, rap, and classical music.
The National Recording Registry preserves our history through recorded sound and reflects our nation’s diverse culture.Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden
NEWS: The @LibnOfCongress has announced the annual selection of 25 recordings to be inducted into the National Recording Registry, chosen for their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s recorded sound heritage. #NatRecRegistry https://t.co/jg2UXtSGCI pic.twitter.com/UvktA0sNNE— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) April 12, 2023
“The national library is proud to help ensure these recordings are preserved for generations to come, and we welcome the public’s input on what songs, speeches, podcasts or recorded sounds we should preserve next. We received more than 1,100 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry,” Carla Hayden added.
Powerful voices of women is one of the ways the 2023 class is being framed. As well as recognising Carey’s undying Christmas anthem, and the 1984 sensation “Like a Virgin” that rocketed an increasingly unfettered Madonna to stardom, the list welcomes Queen Latifah as its first female rapper for “All Hail the Queen” – her pioneering 1989 cross-genre debut album.
Also included for the first time this year is the ‘Ground Theme’ tune to a video game: Super Mario Bros, a chipper little Latin-inspired number composed in 1985 by the relatively unknown Koji Kondo. Aged 61, he still works at Nintendo and is credited for original Nintendo music in the new “Super Mario Bros. Movie” out this month.
“Having this music preserved alongside so many other classic songs is such a great honor,” Kondo said. “It’s actually a little bit difficult to believe.”
To help you listen to the archive, the Digital Media Association, a member of the National Recording Preservation Board, has compiled a list of some streaming services with National Recording Registry playlists, available here.