The National Recording Registry Inducts Albums By Alicia Keys, ATCQ & Wu-Tang Clan

The three classic projects are considered worthy of preservation.

This week, the Library of Congress chose numerous items for the National Recording Registry. Alicia Keys’ chart-topping studio LP, Songs in A Minor, is part of a class that also includes projects by Duke Ellington, Bonnie Raitt, and Linda Ronstadt.

Back in 2001, Alicia Keys burst onto the national scene with her debut album Songs in A Minor. The 16-track R&B body of work is widely considered a modern standard of the genre.

“I’m so honored and grateful that Songs in A Minor, the entire album, gets to be recognized as such a powerful body of work that is just going to be timeless,” says Alicia Keys.

Songs in A Minor is currently 7x-Platinum. Alicia Keys’ magnum opus debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 236,000 copies sold in its first week. The album hosts “Fallin'” which spent six weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 chart and won three Grammys.

“But what is it about [Songs in A Minor] that I think resonates with everybody for so long?” asks 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Alicia Keys. She answers, “I just think it was so pure.”

The Manhattan native continues, “People hadn’t quite seen a woman in Timberlands and cornrows and really straight 100% off of the streets of New York performing classical music and mixing it with Soul music and R&B… And people could find themselves in it. And I love that.”

The LOC Also Inducts Projects By Two Of The Greatest Hip Hop Groups Of All Time

A couple of iconic Hip Hop collectives also saw their respective works enter the National Recording Registry in 2022. The Library of Congress selected Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 classic Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) for induction.

In addition, A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 masterpiece The Low End Theory will live forever in the de facto national library of the United States. ATCQ member Q-Tip celebrated achieving that major accolade.

“We are honored to have our work added to the prestigious National Recording Registry amongst so many other astounding works,” says Q-Tip. “We are humbled and grateful for this acknowledgment. Thank you so, so much.” 

A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory earned Platinum certification in 1995. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) as 3x-Platinum in 2018.

The National Recording Registry Selected Twenty-Five Recordings This Year

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden named twenty-five recordings for the 2022 National Recording Registry class. The LOC considers the selected songs, albums, speeches, and broadcasts worthy of preservation based on their cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance in America’s recorded sound heritage.

“The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation’s history and culture through recorded sound,” states the Librarian of Congress.

Carla Hayden adds, “The national library is proud to help preserve these recordings, and we welcome the public’s input. We received about 1,000 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry.”

Other selections include “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole, “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by The Four Tops, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin. WNYC broadcasts of the September 11 terrorist attacks made it into the National Recording Registry as well.