Koji Kondo's original musical theme for Super Mario Bros. has been recognized by the US Library of Congress. Referred to by Congress as "probably the most recognizable" theme song in video game history, the theme has been added to the National Recording Registry.
Notably, this is the first ever video game theme to be recognized for the registry. It joins other songs for the 2023 selection, including "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" by Eurythmics and Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville."
The Mario theme first appeared in 1985's Super Mario Bros. for arcades and the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's been used countless times in the franchise's history, and was recently featured in the Super Mario Bros. Movie. Kondo worked with that film's composer, Brian Tyler, to incorporate the game's themes into the movie's score.
As for Kondo, he's been with the Mario series, and Nintendo overall, for decades. Not only has he composed music for a multitude of Mario titles like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey, he's also done music for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and Star Fox 64.
"Few musicians have had their work become so internationally recognized for decades yet remain so relatively unknown as Koji Kondo," wrote Congress librarian Carla Hayden.
Speaking to Congress on his song's addition to the registry, Kondo called it a "great honor. It's actually a little bit difficult to believe."
For the full list of 2023 additions to the National Recording Registry, you can see all 25 songs here.
A video game theme song, probably the most recognizable in history, is also a first for the #NatRecRegistry. The Super Mario Bros. theme by Koji Kondo helped establish the game's legendary status & proved that the Nintendo sound chip was capable of vast musical complexity. pic.twitter.com/RHPaXV1WLs— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) April 12, 2023