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ABBA, Blondie and Biggie enter US National Recording Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the 25 new titles in the class of 2024 on Tuesday.

Music Library of Congress

ABBA, Blondie and The Notorious B.I.G. are entering America’s audio canon.

New inductees into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress include ABBA’s 1976 album Visitors, The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 album Ready To Die, Blondie’s 1978 breakthrough Parallel Lines and Gene Autry’s 1949 version of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the 25 new titles in the class of 2024 on Tuesday, saying in a statement that they are “worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”

Music Library of Congress
The Notorious B.I.G. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Puerto Rican singer Hector Lavoe’s signature song, 1978’s El Cantante, written by Ruben Blades, will enter the registry, along with Mexican singer Juan Gabriel’s 1990 tribute to his mother, Amor Eterno.

Other titles deemed to be among “the defining sounds of the nation’s history and culture” are Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow, Green Day’s 1994 album Dookie and The Chicks’ 1998 Wide Open Spaces, the most recording among the new inductees.

Lily Tomlin’s 1971 album of sketches This Is a Recording is the only comedy and the only non-musical recording on this year’s list.

Autry, the singing cowboy who was among America’s biggest stars in the mid-20th century, recorded the definitive version of Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Last year a newer holiday perennial, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, joined the registry, which now has 650 titles.

The Visitors was the disco-tinged fourth album from the Swedish supergroup ABBA, and included their hits Dancing Queen, Money, Money, Money and Fernando.

Blondie and singer Deborah Harry had their commercial breakthrough with Parallel Lines, an album with a famous striped black-and-white cover that featured Heart of Glass. It is joined this year by another new wave classic from the same year, the self-titled debut album by The Cars.

Music Library of Congress
Clem Burke, Debbie Harry and Rob Roth from Blondie (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 album Ready To Die featuring Juicy and Big Poppa, the only album released during his life, headlines hip-hop entries that also include La-Di-Da-Di — Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick’s 1985 single.

Rocket ‘88’ by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats, the 1951 single that some argue was the first rock ‘n’ roll song, is also on the list.

Career-defining singles from several canonical artists are also entering the registry, including Chances Are from Johnny Mathis, Don’t Worry, Be Happy from Bobby McFerrin, The Tennessee Waltz from Patti Page and Ain’t No Sunshine from Bill Withers.

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