Thursday, April 14, 2022

Journey and Queen classics added to US National Recording Registry

Journey’s 1981 smash, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, and Queen’s 1975 classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, highlight 25 sound recordings selected for induction into the US Library Of Congress National Recording Registry.

Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian – with advice from the Library's National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) – annually selects 25 recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old.

Recordings from 1921 to 2010 are featured in the new series of inductions, including Bonnie Raitt’s 1989 album, “Nick Of Time”, the classic Four Tops hit, “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”, and records by Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and the Wu-Tang Clan, among others.

Former Journey lead singer Steve Perry grew up in a small California farming town, the son of Portuguese immigrants; he was stunned for his parents and grandparents to have “Don’t Stop Believin’” enshrined as one of the nation’s signature recordings and that it’s “one of those ‘only in America’ kind of things.”

“That song, over the years, has become something that has a life of its own,” says said. “It’s about the people who’ve embraced it and found the lyrics to be something they can relate to and hold onto and sing.”

“Powered by lead singer Steve Perry’s soaring, crystalline lead vocal, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ was the second single off the super group Journey’s 1981 album ‘Escape.’ It went to No. 9 on the charts — selling over 7 million copies in the U.S. alone--and has since been described as a “perfect rock song,” reads the Library Of Congress bio. “While it has never left the airwaves — or Journey’s set list — the song has gained further cultural permanence via its frequent use at sporting games, in the Broadway rock musical “Rock of Ages” and in film and television, most notably the cryptic final episode of “The Sopranos” and in the debut episode of ‘Glee.’

"As for Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Library says the tune “breaks nearly every rule in the playbook for rock songs: it starts with a gentle a cappella intro; it has a complex structure without a chorus; and it clocks in at nearly six minutes. Nonetheless, songwriter and vocalist Freddie Mercury, while acknowledging the risk, was convinced that the public would receive it enthusiastically. Guitarist Brian May remembers the band being largely supportive of Mercury’s composition, finding it 'intriguing and original, and worthy of work.'

In fact, the recording required a huge amount of work with one section requiring 180 overdubs, and the vocal sessions with Mercury, May and drummer Roger Taylor stretched to 10 or 12 hours. Bassist John Deacon does remember an attempt to edit the song, but, in the end, he and the band felt nothing should be lost. Ultimately, ‘Rhapsody’ was released in its full length, and audiences embraced it.The song has proven to have a number of afterlives, appearing in “Wayne’s World” and the bio-pic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ensuring its continued place in the public’s consciousness.”

See also:

Journey reveal track list for new album Freedom
Billy Idol pulls out of Journey tour due to health issue
Journey perform in Times Square on New Year’s Eve
Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 5: JOURNEY
Search Journey at hennemusic