U2's 1987 disc The Joshua Tree is among 25 new additions to the US Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
The Irish band's fifth studio album spawned such hits as With or Without You and Where the Streets Have No Name.
The original cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's 1979 musical Sweeney Todd and Isaac Hayes' Theme from Shaft have also been added to the archive.
Established in 2000, the registry contains recordings deemed important enough to be preserved for posterity.
Each year, 25 recordings that are at least 10 years old are added to the registry, which now includes 400 deemed to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".
The oldest of this year's additions is The Laughing Song, a track by George Washington Johnson - the first African-American to make commercial records - that dates from around 1896.
The most recent, Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, was recorded in 1994.
Other familiar tracks to join the registry include the Everly Brothers' 1960 single Cathy's Clown, the 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival track Fortunate Son and Linda Ronstadt's 1974 album Heart Like a Wheel.
But there are non-musical recordings as well, among them US President Lyndon B Johnson's collection of recorded telephone conversations and 1960s interviews with some of the pioneers of baseball.
Speaking in 1987, U2 frontman Bono said The Joshua Tree "could have gone off in a number of different directions" and that "there were a lot of songs left over".
The cover of the record featured a now-famous image by photographer Anton Corbijn of the band's four members framed against a Californian desertscape.
Phil Everly, the younger half of the Everly Brothers, died earlier this year at the age of 74.
Nominations were gathered through online submissions from members of the public and the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB).
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