N.W.A, Bowie to be preserved by US Library of Congress

MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and DJ Yella of N.W.A, pictured in 2016, will have their first album "Straight Outta Compton" preserved by the US Library of Congress

Gangsta rappers N.W.A's seminal debut, David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" album and the signature song from "The Wizard of Oz" will be preserved for posterity by the US Library of Congress.

The world's largest library selected another 25 titles Wednesday for its National Recording Registry, which preserves original copies of works found to have historical importance.

Among the recordings was "Straight Outta Compton," the 1988 first album by California rappers N.W.A who set off a nationwide storm with their protest song "Fuck tha Police."

The Library of Congress in a statement said the album "signaled not only a seismic shift in rap from East Coast to West Coast sensibilities, but also a startling socio-political shot across the bow of the culture."

Also entering the registry were two recordings of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which in 1919 was declared the "Black National Anthem."

The registry picked the 1939 single "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz," one of the most celebrated songs in cinema.

In the song, Judy Garland, playing the girl Dorothy in drab, Dust Bowl-swept Kansas, wishes for happier times -- and soon is transported in a dream sequence to Oz, a land whose magic is symbolized by the black-and-white film's switch to Technicolor.

The Library of Congress simultaneously selected the 1975 cast album of "The Wiz," a retelling of "The Wizard of Oz" which was one of the first African American-oriented productions on Broadway.

While mostly focused on US recordings, the registry chose late English legend Bowie's 1972 album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," a path-making concept album in which the singer plays an androgynous alien rocker.

Also selected was Don McLean's 1971 folk-rock classic "American Pie," which looked at the tumult of the 1960s through nostalgia for the 1950s.

McLean in a statement said he was "proud to be an American artist who has represented his country around the world for almost 50 years."

"America has a vast musical heritage which is diverse and profound. With few exceptions American music is the whole of popular music," he said.

Other selections included new-wave innovators Talking Heads's 1980 album "Remain in Light," disco classic "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge, a greatest hits collection by arena-packing rockers the Eagles and Barbra Streisand's debut single "People" from the musical "Funny Girl."

In opera, the Library of Congress chose leading American soprano Renee Fleming's 1997 album "Signatures."

The registry also picked recordings outside of music, including the 1971 debut broadcast of "All Things Considered," the flagship news program on National Public Radio.