The 2021 batch of additions to the Library of Congress includes Janet Jackson, Nas, LaBelle, Kool & the Gang, Pat Metheny, and Louis Armstrong, the National Recording Registry announced today. The records were deemed “worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”
Jackson made the cut with her 1989 album Rhythm Nation 1814, alongside Nas’s Illmatic, LaBelle’s 1974 recording of “Lady Marmalade,” and Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.” Other additions include Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra’s 1938 rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” Connie Smith’s 1964 single “Once a Day,” Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign LP, the Marlo Thomas and Friends record Free to Be…You & Me, Jimmy Cliff’s album The Harder They Come, Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky LP, Pat Metheny’s 1976 record Bright Size Life, and, last but not least, Kermit the Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection.”
Of that inclusion, songwriter Paul Williams said: “We don’t know how it works, but we believe that it does. Sometimes the questions are more beautiful than the answers.” Kermit added: “Well, gee, it’s an amazing feeling to officially become part of our nation’s history. It’s a great honor. And I am thrilled—I am thrilled!—to be the first frog on the list!”
Check out this year’s full list—technically billed as the 2020 selection—on the registry’s website. Last year’s picks included Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Cheap Trick at Budokan.