National Recording Registry Inducts Music from Madonna
Madonna’s cultural ascent with Like a Virgin is one of the defining sounds of the United States history and culture that will join the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. The 2023 class also includes the first sounds of a video game to join the registry with the Super Mario Bros. theme, powerful voices of women, important inductions of Latin music, and classic sounds of rock and pop from the 1960s to the ‘80s.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden named 25 recordings as audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.
The National Recording Registry preserves our history through recorded sound and reflects our nation’s diverse culture. The national library is proud to help ensure these recordings are preserved for generations to come, and we welcome the public’s input on what songs, speeches, podcasts or recorded sounds we should preserve next. We received more than 1,100 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry.
The recordings selected for the National Recording Registry bring the number of titles on the registry to 625, representing a small portion of the national library’s vast recorded sound collection of nearly 4 million items. The latest selections named to the registry span from 1908 to 2012.
Like a Virgin – Madonna (1984) (album)
Madonna began her cultural ascent with her self-named debut album in 1983. But, even then, few could have predicted the worldwide domination she would achieve, starting on the dance floor, with her follow-up collection, “Like a Virgin.” Madonna was taking greater control of her musical output and skillfully integrating her image with the world mood of the moment. The album did much to solidify the early iconography of the soon-to-be legend — from the bridal dress to the “Boy Toy” belt buckle — but it is the music that endures. Collaborating with the equally legendary Nile Rodgers, Madonna proved no one could craft pop quite like her. Of the nine songs originally included on the album, four became top 10 hits, and a fifth, “Into the Groove,” which was added to a latter pressing, also was a smash. With 21 million copies of this album sold, the influence of Madonna and this album especially — catchy, controversial, coy — has yet to abate, and the beats have yet to stop.
National Recording Registry, 2023 Selections in chronological order
- “The Very First Mariachi Recordings” — Cuarteto Coculense (1908-1909)
- “St. Louis Blues” — Handy’s Memphis Blues Band (1922)
- “Sugar Foot Stomp” — Fletcher Henderson (1926)
- Dorothy Thompson: Commentary and Analysis of the European Situation for NBC Radio (Aug. 23-Sept. 6, 1939)
- “Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around” — The Fairfield Four (1947)
- “Sherry” — The Four Seasons (1962)
- “What the World Needs Now is Love” — Jackie DeShannon (1965)
- “Wang Dang Doodle” — Koko Taylor (1966)
- “Ode to Billie Joe” — Bobbie Gentry (1967)
- “Déjà Vu” — Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (1970)
- “Imagine” — John Lennon (1971)
- “Stairway to Heaven” — Led Zeppelin (1971)
- “Take Me Home, Country Roads” — John Denver (1971)
- “Margaritaville” — Jimmy Buffett (1977)
- “Flashdance…What a Feeling” — Irene Cara (1983)
- “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — Eurythmics (1983)
- “Synchronicity” — The Police (1983)
- “Like a Virgin” — Madonna (1984)
- “Black Codes (From the Underground)” — Wynton Marsalis (1985)
- Super Mario Bros. theme — Koji Kondo, composer (1985)
- “All Hail the Queen” — Queen Latifah (1989)
- “All I Want for Christmas is You” — Mariah Carey (1994)
- “Pale Blue Dot” — Carl Sagan (1994)
- “Gasolina” — Daddy Yankee (2004)
- “Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra” — Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, composer (2012)