Jeff Buckley’s inspired, haunting cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one of the 25 new audio recordings chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress. The late singer-songwriter’s 1994 rendition, from his only album Grace, became his sole No. 1 hit when it topped Billboard’s digital charts in 2008. U2’s landmark album The Joshua Tree was also named by the national research institution.
Other notable additions to the surprisingly spare National Recording Registry: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s protest anthem “Fortunate Son,” Isaac Hayes’ Shaft soundtrack, the Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown,” Linda Rondstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel LP, Elmore James’ pioneering blues cut “Dust My Broom,” and the Broadway recording of Sweeney Todd.
The choices for non-musical entries are just as interesting, and include 850 hours of President Lyndon B. Johnson recordings, historical baseball interviews, and a JFK-themed comedy album, The First Family.
“As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation’s aural legacy is protected,” said Librarian of Congress James Billington, via USA Today. Each recording must be at least 10 years old, the highest quality thereof is always sought. Citizens may access the recordings at the Recorded Sound Reference Center in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, Buckley will play us out.