Recordings by Nirvana, The Beach Boys and Dizzy Gillespie have been added to the US Library of Congress' vault to be preserved for future generations.
Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide 11 years ago
The recordings are among 50 works deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".
Nirvana's album Nevermind is included, as is The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and jazz legend Gillespie's song Manteca.
They will join works by Public Enemy, James Brown, Muddy Waters, George Gershwin and the Star Wars soundtrack.
Spoken recordings such as Neil Armstrong's comments during the first moon landing and the first full reading of the Bible will also go in the National Recording Registry, as will a recording of elephant noises.
Glenn Miller and His Orchestra are in the archive with In the Mood
Recordings must be at least 10 years old and Nevermind, released in 1991, is the most recent entry. Singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide on 8 April 1994.
The earliest track is Gypsy Love Song from the opera The Fortune Teller, performed by bass singer Eugene Cowles in 1898.
The 1920s has more entries than any other decade with 11. Only six of the 50 recordings were made after 1966.
Al Jolson, Hoagy Carmichael, Glenn Miller, Hank Williams, John Coltrane and The Allman Brothers are among the other artists to have their music preserved.
"Once again, we have the opportunity to celebrate the rich variety of music recorded in the United States and the importance of sound recording in our lives," Librarian of Congress James H Billington said.