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Every year, the Librarian of Congress meets with the Library's National Recording Preservation Board to choose 25 recordings worthy of induction. This year's list is just as eclectic as past selections.
U2's landmark LP The Joshua Tree; the Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown," Isaac Hayes' legendary Shaft theme song; Jeff Buckley's beautiful version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"; Linda Ronstadt's Heart Like a Wheel LP and Creedence Clearwater Revival's Vietnam War protest chorale "Fortunate Son” all made the 2014 list.
The 25 albums and songs chosen are all seen as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” according to Rolling Stone.
“These recordings represent an important part of America’s culture and history,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement. “As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation’s aural legacy is protected. The National Recording Registry is at the core of this effort.”
In order to be considered for induction, the song must be at least 10 years old. When the Librarian of Congress and the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board meet, they select 25 songs with best versions stowed away at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Virginia. The list this year was best on public, as well as NRPB, submissions. The collection now has 400 recordings preserved.
Songs aren’t the only types of recordings inducted into the Library of Congres. The list also includes a 1962 comedy LP which cracks jokes at the Kennedy family, presidential conversations with Lyndon B. Johnson, field recordings and interviews.