Entertainment & Arts

Radiohead album preserved by US Library of Congress

Radiohead
Image caption Radiohead's OK Computer is relevant to today's social malaise, say curators

Radiohead's seminal album OK Computer has become one of 25 recordings to be preserved by the US Library of Congress.

It is joined by Ben E King's Stand By Me and recordings by Joan Baez, The Righteous Brothers and Steve Martin.

Each year the library chooses recordings that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

This year the recordings span from 1890 to 1999.

The Library of Congress has been preserving important sound recordings for 15 years under terms of a preservation act.

Public nominations are taken into account when the yearly selection is made. The nominated recordings must be at least 10 years old.

Radiohead's OK Computer (1997) attracted votes largely due to its themes of anti-consumerism, social alienation, isolation, malaise and an overall atmosphere of melancholy, the library said.

"I sort of see it as part of a certain ongoing phenomenon in rock music that maybe begins with the Velvet Underground but also The Doors, who are on the list this year," said curator Matt Barton.

"Pop music is not entirely positive in its outlook, shall we say. I think we can say that OK Computer really sums a lot of that up.''

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Steve Martin's reaction was characteristically archaic on hearing he had been included on the registry

The Doors make the list for their self-titled 1967 album while The Righteous Brothers are included for You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' from 1964.

Steve Martin's A Wild And Crazy Guy comedy album from 1978 is one of the more offbeat choices.

Upon hearing of his achievement, Martin joked: "I could not be more proud of this honour. This means the record was probably funny.''

Among other recordings considered worthy of preservation were tunes from TV's classic children's show Sesame Street.

Recordings selected for the 2014 National Recording Registry:

  • Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings at University of California at Santa Barbara Library (c. 1890-1910)
  • The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection, recorded at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago (1893)
  • The Boys of the Lough and The Humours of Ennistymon - Michael Coleman (1922)
  • Black Snake Moan and Match Box Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson (1928)
  • Sorry, Wrong Number (episode of Suspense radio series) (25 May, 1943).
  • Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive - Johnny Mercer (1944)
  • Radio Coverage of President Franklin D Roosevelt's Funeral, - Arthur Godfrey and others (14 April, 1945)
  • Kiss Me, Kate original cast album, (1959)
  • John Brown's Body (album) - Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson and Raymond Massey and directed by Charles Laughton (1953)
  • My Funny Valentine - Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Chet Baker (1953)
  • Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955)
  • Mary Don't You Weep - Swan Silvertones (1959)
  • Joan Baez (album)- Joan Baez (1960)
  • Stand By Me - Ben E King (1961)
  • New Orleans, Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band (album) - Sweet Emma and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band (1964)
  • You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Righteous Brothers (1964)
  • The Doors (album) - Doors (1967)
  • Stand! - Sly and the Family Stone (1969)
  • Lincoln Mayorga and Distinguished Colleagues (album) - Lincoln Mayorga (1968)
  • A Wild And Crazy Guy (album), Steve Martin (1978)
  • Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favorites (album) - various artists (1995)
  • OK Computer (album) - Radiohead (1997)
  • Songs Of The Old Regular Baptists - various artists (1997)
  • The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (album) - Lauryn Hill (1998)
  • Fanfares For The Uncommon Woman (album) - Colorado Symphony Orchestra (1999)

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