Dark Side Enters The National Recording Registry

Today The Dark Side Of The Moon was voted into the US National Recording Registry.

The purpose of the Registry is to celebrate and preserve important sound recordings. Those deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.” Recordings are selected yearly by the National Recording Preservation Board, and ‘saved’ in the Library of Congress.

This ‘legislative hall of fame’ is to safeguard America’s sound recording heritage. “Congress created the National Recording Registry to celebrate the richness and variety of our audio heritage and to underscore our responsibility for long-term preservation, to assure that legacy can be appreciated and studied for generations” – sound familiar?

Since 2002, 375 ‘sound artefacts’ have so far been installed, including: Edison’s earliest cylinder recordings; the first official transatlantic telephone conversation; the first recording of ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’; sounds of the ivory-billed woodpecker; F. D. Roosevelt’s 1941 address to Congress; as well as Elvis, Chuck Berry, Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, R.E.M. – and now Floyd’s Dark Side.

Of particular note is that Dark Side “received the highest number of public nominations among this year’s picks“.

The 2012 National Recording Registry entries are (in alphabetical order):

  1.  “A Program of Song,” Leontyne Price (1959)
  2. “After You’ve Gone,” Marion Harris (1918)
  3. “Bacon, Beans and Limousines,” Will Rogers (Oct. 18, 1931)
  4. “Begin the Beguine,” Artie Shaw (1938)
  5. “Cheap Thrills,” Big Brother and the Holding Company (1968)
  6. “Crossing Chilly Jordan,” The Blackwood Brothers (1960)
  7. “Descargas: Cuban Jam Session in Miniature,” Cachao Y Su Ritmo Caliente (1957)
  8. “Einstein on the Beach,” Philip Glass and Robert Wilson (1979)
  9. “Hoodoo Man Blues,” Junior Wells (1965)
  10. “Just Because,” Frank Yankovic & His Yanks (1947)
  11. “Music Time in Africa,” Leo Sarkisian, host (July 29, 1973)
  12. “Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s,” Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, et al. (1960-1962)
  13. “Ramones,” The Ramones (1976)
  14. “Saturday Night Fever,” The Bee Gees, et al (1977)
  15. “Sounds of Silence,” Simon and Garfunkel (1966)
  16. “South Pacific,” Original Cast Album (1949)
  17. “The Audience with Betty Carter,” Betty Carter (1980)
  18. “The Dark Side of the Moon,” Pink Floyd (1973)
  19. “The Shape of Jazz to Come,” Ornette Coleman (1959)
  20. “The Twist,” Chubby Checker (1960)
  21. “Wild Tchoupitoulas,” The Wild Tchoupitoulas (1976)
  22. “You Are My Sunshine,” Jimmie Davis (1940)
  23. D-Day Radio Broadcast, George Hicks (June 5-6, 1944)
  24. President’s Message Relayed from Atlas Satellite, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Dec. 19, 1958)
  25. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Van Cliburn (April 11, 1958)

At #322 on the Registry’s list is the Apollo 11 broadcast from the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong, from 21st July 21, 1969. Apollo 17’s lunar landing broadcast by Commander Eugene Cernan was used in a working version of Dark Side in Jan’73, pre-Clare Torry.

The full National Recording Registry is here.

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