Songs by Wu-Tang, Alicia Keys, Four Tops added to recording registry

Kristin M. Hall

Nashville, TN – Critically acclaimed debut albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin’s Latin pop mega hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” are among the recordings inducted this year at the National Recording Registry.

The Library of Congress announced on Wednesday the 25 historic songs, albums, recordings and even a podcast that will be preserved as significant contributions to American culture and history.

Keys’ “Songs In A Minor”, released in 2001, introduced the young New York musician to the world with her unique fusion of jazz, R&B and hip hop and won her five Grammy awards. With songs like “Fallin'”, the album was certified seven times multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan Collective, featuring RZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man and more, released their highly influential debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” in 1993, which combined East Coast hardcore rap centered on storylines and kung fu movie clips.

Other albums included were Linda Ronstadt’s “Canciones de Mi Padre”, a musical tribute to her Mexican-American roots, Grammy-winning Bonnie Raitt’s “Nick of Time”, A Tribe’s “The Low End Theory”. Called Quest, and the Cuban musical ensemble’s self-titled debut album “Buena Vista Social Club”, which also inspired a film of the same name.

Other songs now on the roster include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”, Ernest Tubb’s “Walking the Floor Over You”, Andy Williams’ “Moon River”, and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”. from The Four Tops.

The song Four Tops was written by the songwriting trio Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier and became a No. 1 song in 1966 known for its unorthodox arrangement and lead singer Levi Stubbs’ urgent operatic voice. The band’s last surviving member, Duke Fakir, said he was honored to have their song included in the registry.

The four peaks, left to right, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, Levi Stubbs Abdul "duke" Fakir and Lawrence Payton hold their awards after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York on January 17, 1990. Their song,

“When we recorded ‘I’ll Be There’, I have to admit (for the first time), we thought of the song as an experiment for the album,” Fakir said in a statement. “We never thought it would even make it on the album, let alone be an all-time hit on ‘The Library of Congress’. I wish Levi, Obie (Benson) and Lawrence (Payton ) are here with me today so that we can celebrate this incredible distinction together. And we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to Holland Dozier Holland, the tailors of great music, who wrote it.

Other recordings include public radio station WNYC’s September 11, 2001 broadcasts and Marc Maron’s interview with Robin Williams on his “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast.


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Grace D. Erickson