Radiohead’s groundbreaking album OK Computer has long been a favorite of critics and music lovers alike. Now the record is receiving a more permanent placement in history, chosen to be archived for its cultural relevance by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry.
The album joins other new honorees chosen by the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board, including The Doors’ seminal self-titled album, as well as Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and others. The board annually selects 25 recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” according to a press release.
“I see it as part of a certain ongoing phenomenon in rock music that maybe begins with The Velvet Underground but also The Doors, who are on the registry this year,” said Library of Congress curator Matt Barton in a statement (via Consequence of Sound). “Pop music is not entirely positive in its outlook, shall we say. I think we can say that OK Computer really sums a lot of that up.”
OK Computer is one of 425 recordings that the Library of Congress has recognized under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. The oldest are wax-cylinder recordings made by consumers around the turn of the 20th century. These recordings are particularly unique because their grooves are fragile and wax decomposes over time, according to The Guardian.
When Radiohead created the experimental, anti-capitalistic masterpiece the group certainly didn’t write it with US government in mind. Sometimes, even the most unlikely suspects understand the value of true art.