Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" have both been selected for induction into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. The pair of single recordings are being acknowledged respectively for their enduring audio legacy. They join a list of 25 diverse recordings also being inducted this year, ranging from the recorded speeches of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Wu-Tang Clan's groundbreaking debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Both Queen and Journey will be joining an elite club that already boasts rock giants like Nirvana (inducted in 2004 for their Nevermind album), the Ramones (inducted in 2009 for their debut album Ramones), and Metallica (inducted in 2015 for Master of Puppets).
Speaking about "Don't Stop Believin'," former Journey singer Steve Perry said via the Library of Congress website, "That song, over the years, has become something that has a life of its own. 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."
Perry, the son of Portuguese immigrants who was raised in a small town in California's San Joaquin Valley, used the induction as an opportunity to reflect on his parents and grandparents, saying the honor was "one of those 'only in America' kind of things." Perry moved to Sacramento in the early 70s to pursue a career in music before joining San Francisco's JOURNEY in 1977.
Queen recorded the multiple sections of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in four different studios across the United Kingdom in the summer of 1975. It was released on the brilliant A Night at the Opera album later that year, but as was the case with most of Queen's music during that period, reactions were mixed. NME criticized the track for its excess, and Allan Jones of Melody Maker called it "superficially impressive," but admitted that he found the song to be "horrifically fascinating."
It wasn't until 1992, when the song was famously featured in Penelope Spheeris's film Wayne's World, that "Bohemian Rhapsody" became an international hit. Its inclusion as the opening track of the film's soundtrack helped skyrocket the album to the top of the Billboard 200, paving the way for a regenerated interest in the band, and spawning an entirely new generation of Queen fans which has only multiplied with time.
Fittingly, this month marks the 30th Anniversary of the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium. That evening, "Bohemian Rhapsody" was performed by the remaining members of Queen—Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor—with special guests Elton John and Axl Rose. You can watch that performance below, as well as Journey performing "Don't Stop Believin'" in Houston on their 1981 Escape tour.