National Recording Registry adds songs from Abba, Biggie, the Chicks

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Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and Gene Autry’s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” are among the 25 songs inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry this year.

The latest inductees bring the list of titles in the registry to 650. In all, the library’s collection contains more than 4 million items. Song choices for the registry are “based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage,” according to the library. Recordings must be a decade old to make it into the registry.

“The Library of Congress is proud to preserve the sounds of American history and our diverse culture through the National Recording Registry,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “We have selected audio treasures worthy of preservation with our partners this year, including a wide range of music from the past 100 years, as well as comedy.”

For 2024, the registry’s newly added songs and albums didn’t have a central theme, but the list highlighted several popular albums from ’90s-era artists, including the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ready to Die,” the Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces” and Green Day’s “Dookie.”

“We always wanted to be in this band forever,” Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in a news release. “I think in the back of our minds was to be able to play music together for the rest of our lives. So that’s quite a goal when you’re 20 or 21 years old. But, you know, we’ve managed to do it, and it’s just been an amazing journey so far.”

Abba’s 1976 album “Arrival,” which features the favorite “Dancing Queen,” also got the nod, alongside Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 single “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and Juan Gabriel’s breathtaking 1990 single “Amor Eterno.”

Another popular addition is “La-Di-Da-Di” by Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, a 1985 single that has been referenced and sampled by multiple artists in recent years, including Tupac, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Beyoncé.

In 2023, the library focused heavily on female artists, celebrating Madonna, Mariah Carey and Queen Latifah, among others. Mainstream music inducted into the library included Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and John Lennon’s “Imagine,” as well as Latifah’s “All Hail the Queen” album from 1989, making her the first female rapper to join the ranks.

Recordings selected for the 2024 National Recording Registry (listed chronologically)

  1. “Clarinet Marmalade” — Lt. James Reese Europe’s 369th U.S. Infantry Band (1919)
  2. “Kauhavan Polkka” — Viola Turpeinen and John Rosendahl (1928)
  3. Wisconsin Folksong Collection (1937-1946)
  4. “Rose Room” — Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian (1939)
  5. “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Gene Autry (1949)
  6. “Tennessee Waltz” — Patti Page (1950)
  7. “Rocket ‘88’” — Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (1951)
  8. “Catch a Falling Star” / “Magic Moments” — Perry Como (1957)
  9. “Chances Are” — Johnny Mathis (1957)
  10. “The Sidewinder” — Lee Morgan (1964)
  11. “Surrealistic Pillow” — Jefferson Airplane (1967)
  12. “Ain’t No Sunshine” — Bill Withers (1971)
  13. “This Is a Recording” — Lily Tomlin (1971)
  14. “J. D. Crowe & the New South” — J.D. Crowe & the New South (1975)
  15. “Arrival” — Abba (1976)
  16. “El Cantante” — Héctor Lavoe (1978)
  17. “The Cars” — the Cars (1978)
  18. “Parallel Lines” — Blondie (1978)
  19. “La-Di-Da-Di” — Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick (MC Ricky D) (1985)
  20. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” — Bobby McFerrin (1988)
  21. “Amor Eterno” — Juan Gabriel (1990)
  22. “Pieces of Africa” — Kronos Quartet (1992)
  23. “Dookie” — Green Day (1994)
  24. “Ready to Die” — the Notorious B.I.G. (1994)
  25. “Wide Open Spaces” — the Chicks (1998)

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