A new batch of recordings from music’s high society has been inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam,” Earth, Wind & Fire’s cultural anthem “September,” and Sylvester’s disco classic “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” are among the elite 25 recordings archived for the class of 2018.
Superfly, the soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield for the 1972 film by the same name, is one of seven albums inducted into the registry.
“I would compare Curtis Mayfield’s work on Superfly to the work of the great post-Impressionist painters,” said musician and record executive Don Was.
He continued, “Mayfield took textures that were then popular in rhythm and blues — like wah-wah guitars, congas, flutes, orchestras — and blended them into something altogether new. I think it’s wonderful that 50 years after its inception, the music of Superfly still resonates with listeners and is being honored by the National Recording Registry.”
Other essential musical albums and recordings recognized, which are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old, includes Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, Dexton Gordon’s Go and Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual.
The registry also features non-musical pieces such as Robert F. Kennedy’s speech on the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, and the monologues of Ruth Draper, an acclaimed monologuist in the early to mid-20th century.
“The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories and the sounds that mirror our lives,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a statement.
“The influence of recorded sound over its nearly 160-year history has been profound and technology has increased its reach and significance exponentially. The Library of Congress and its many collaborators are working to preserve these sounds and moments in time, which reflect our past, present and future.”
Each year since 2002, Hayden deliberates on selections for the next ledger of recordings with sound considerations from National Recording Preservation Board. This year’s choices rounds the total number of titles on the registry to 525.
See the complete list here.