Recordings by Tupac Shakur, Willie Nelson, R.E.M. and the 1959 original cast album of "Gypsy" are among the 25 eclectic inductees announced today (June 23) to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
Under the terms of 2000's National Recording Preservation Act, the criteria for preservation by the Library of Congress are that the work be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and be at least 10 years old. Nominations were gathered from online submissions from the public and from members of the National Recording Preservation Board.
In its citation for Shakur's "Dear Mama," the NRPB calls the song a "moving and eloquent homage to both his own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference." Nelson's album "Red Headed Stranger" is cited for its "uncommon elegance," while R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe" is lauded for setting "the pattern for later indie rock releases by breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio's general indifference."