U2's Iconic Album 'The Joshua Tree' Honored; Bono Says New Album Will Release in 2015

( [email protected] ) May 14, 2014 03:24 PM EDT
U2's iconic album has now entered the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry due to its significant impact on culture. (Photo : www.billboard.com) 

U2's iconic album "The Joshua Tree" has been inducted into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.

According to Billboard, the 1987 album was honored because it is "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant" says Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

"These recordings represent an important part of America's culture and history," says Billington in a statement on the organization's website. "As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation's aural legacy is protected. The National Recording Registry is at the core of this effort."

"The Joshua Tree," including hits such as "Where the Streets Have no Name" and "With or Without You" was chosen after the library received many public nominations. Its inclusion coincides with the addition of Larry Norman's Christian 1972 album "Only Visiting this Planet," the first Christian rock album chosen for the registry.

Curator Matthew Barton said U2's sound, though not explicitly religious, has influenced and been combined with Christian rock in some churches, including the song, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

U2 front man, a professing Christian, Bono told Focus on the Family last year that his music is heavily influenced by his faith in Christ, whether he wants it to or not.

"It's very annoying following this Person of Christ around [chuckling], because He's very demanding of your life," he said.

Nominated along with "The Joshua Tree" is Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Linda Ronstadt's Heart" Like a Wheel LP" and Creedence Clearwater Revival's Vietnam War protest anthem "Fortunate Son," among others.

To be eligible for induction, a recording must be at least 10 years old, Rolling Stone reports. Every year, the Librarian of Congress meets with the Library's National Recording Preservation Board to make 25 selections, with the best quality versions stored at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, located in Culpeper, Virginia. This year's nominations were assembled online from public and NRPB submissions; with these new selections, the registry's collection now includes 400 recordings.

U2 is set to release a new album in 2015 so they can schedule new recording sessions with producers Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, according to Billboard. However, the band's spiritually-minded single "Invisible" has given fans insight into what to expect. Despite the song's success (it received nearly one million downloads within the first hour of its release) the lyrics--which include the lines "I'm more than you know/A body in a soul/You don't see me but you will/I am not invisible"--Bono fears, won't connect personally to his audience. "If that is relevant to other people, then great; that would be a thrill. But we don't know. I think 'Invisible' is a great song, but I don't know how accessible it is."

Guitarist the Edge told Rolling Stone earlier this year that the group had "about 30 songs we're really excited about, in various states of being finished."

At the time, he said the group had a few titles in mind but were hesitant to announce a set release date. "But we're getting there," he said.  "But we do not want to let go of anything if we are not 100 percent happy with it."