What's on the Official White House Playlist - NBC New York

What's on the Official White House Playlist

Turns out President Obama's new digs come with a pretty enviable built-in record collection.

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    The official White House record collection -- which has been sitting in the First Basement since Ronald Reagan held office -- includes classics by the Ramones.

    Hey kids, long ago -- like back when Jimmy Carter was president (he's the kindly-looking peanut-farmer fellow) -- a few things were different. In music, specifically. For one, "At Last" was a major recording by Etta James, not standard-issue movie-trailer wallpaper for boomer rom-coms starring Diane Keaton or a chance for Beyoncé to gift America with some inauguration-night karaoke. Also, playlists were called "record collections." And it turns out that the White House has a pretty awesome one.

    Rolling Stone(via Idolator) tips us off to the collection, which includes solid must-haves from the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, Isaac Hayes, and more. But! It was last updated during the Carter administration (when, coincidentally, one of the magazine's editors consulted as curator), because when Ronald Reagan moved in, he ordered the whole vinyl library be boxed up and shipped to the basement. It's all been mustifying down there ever since. (Q: How are we only finding this out now? A: Probably because Obama is the first president we can imagine rocking out to anything since Bill Clinton serenaded us with a sax in his boxers.)

    Surely BHO won't let this crime against culture continue. Surely he'll pull all the tuneage out of mothballs, get it digitized and turn some boring, barely-used briefing room into the First Office of Groove. And surely he'll haul the contents of White House record collection into the 21st century. But when you're choosing must-have recordings from the early 1980s on, where do you begin? And what should make the cut?