No list of the greatest albums of the 1990s would be complete without Radiohead’s third studio album, OK Computer, nor would any list of the greatest albums of all time, for that matter. I could go on for hours about how freaking amazing, influential, and ahead of its time the album was but you probably already know and, if you don’t, you should learn. The album was so great, in fact, that it’s now going to be preserved in the Library of Congress.
Enshrining in the US Library of Congress was perhaps not what British once-rock band Radiohead had in mind when writing OK Computer, a classic dystopian album from 1997 about (among other sunny topics) relentless globalization, societal homogeneity, and government overreach, but it’s 2015 and that is what has happened. The library adds “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” records each year to its National Recording Registry, with the aim of preserving them for 15 years; public nominations helped OK Computer attain recognition. “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. Pop music is not entirely positive in its outlook, shall we say,” curator Matt Barton said, in comments reported by The Guardian. “I think we can say that OK Computer really sums a lot of that up.”