NWA "Straight Outta Compton" album cover.
Courtesy Aftermath/Interscope
By Kate Samuelson
March 29, 2017

Don McLean‘s 1971 hit “American Pie,” Sister Sledge’s “We are Family” and Barbra Streisand‘s “People” are far more than just catchy songs. According to the Library of Congress, these tunes are worthy of preservation as part of America’s heritage, along with N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton and the Eagles’ first compilation album.

These recordings are among 25 new additions to the Library’s National Recording Registry, which preserves an ever-expanding list of sound recordings because they are recognized to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The new additions bring the total number of titles on the registry to 475.

As well as songs by McLean, Sister Sledge and Streisand, the list now includes David Bowie’s 1972 concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow,” performed in The Wizard of Oz, and Talking Head’s fourth studio album, Remain in Light. Two renditions of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the national anthem of the U.S.’ African-American community, also made the list, as well as country-gospel group The Chuck Wagon Gang’s 1948 version of “I’ll Fly Away.”

“It is so humbling and gratifying to learn that my recording of the song ‘People’ by composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill will be installed in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress,” said Streisand in a statement. “I believe “People” touched our common desire to relate to others with love and caring, and I’ve always tried to express this in my renditions of this magical song.”

Not all of the new additions to the Registry are musical ones. The first broadcast of All Things Considered, NPR’s flagship news program, is included, as well as Richard Pryor’s 1978 comedy album Wanted: Live in Concert and Vin Scully’s 1957 announcement of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.

Below is the full list of recordings newly named to the registry:

The 1888 London cylinder recordings of Col. George Gouraud (1888)

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” (singles), Manhattan Harmony Four (1923); Melba Moore and Friends (1990)

“Puttin’ on the Ritz” (single), Harry Richman (1929)

Over the Rainbow” (single), Judy Garland (1939)

“I’ll Fly Away” (single), The Chuck Wagon Gang (1948)

“Hound Dog” (single), Big Mama Thornton (1953)

Saxophone Colossus, Sonny Rollins (1956)

The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, announced by Vin Scully (September 8, 1957)

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, Marty Robbins (1959)

The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, Wes Montgomery (1960)

“People” (single), Barbra Streisand (1964)

“In the Midnight Hour” (single), Wilson Pickett (1965)

“Amazing Grace” (single), Judy Collins (1970)

“American Pie” (single), Don McLean (1971)

All Things Considered, first broadcast (May 3, 1971)

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie (1972)

The Wiz, original cast album (1975)

Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975), Eagles (1976)

Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Gunter Schuller, arr. (1976)

Wanted: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor (1978)

“We Are Family” (single), Sister Sledge (1979)

Remain in Light, Talking Heads (1980)

Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A. (1988)

Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Robert Shaw Festival Singers (1990)

Signatures, Renée Fleming (1997)

Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com.

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