U2 and Linda Ronstadt Added to National Recording Registry
The annual list of 25 records added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry has been announced. This year’s inductees include such names as U2, Linda Ronstadt and Creedence Clearwater Revival, as well as a handful of singles that influenced rock.
In the release accompanying the news, U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ is singled out for combining the “passion and engagement” of punk with “the robotic electronic pop,” and adding “the sound of machinery being pushed to its limits” in form of the Edge’s guitar. Ronstadt’s ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ wins plaudits both for the singer’s interpretive skill and her eclecticism in choosing covers by Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers while introducing newer songwriters like J.D. Souther and Anna McGarrigle to wider audiences. The Everlys’ ‘Cathy’s Clown’ and Creedence’s 1969 hit ‘Fortunate Son’ also make the list.
Of the others, several songs jumped out at us for their importance to the birth of rock n’ roll: Louis Jordan’s 1945 jump blues classic ‘Caldonia,’ the Louvin Brothers’ ‘When I Stop Dreaming’ and Elmore James’ ‘Dust My Broom, which was famously the song that Brian Jones was playing the night he met Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Isaac Hayes’ ‘Theme from ‘Shaft” and the original cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical ‘Sweeney Todd’ were also added.
Created in 2000, the National Recording Registry selects 25 records every year for preservation on the grounds that they are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.’ As of this list, 400 recordings comprise the registry.