With our a Top Ten Korn songs list, we are looking at the ten of the best songs from the band who are seen by most to be the creators of the nu metal genre, a genre that has been very divisive amongst the metal community. Originally formed in 1993, the line-up of the band is rhythm guitarist Munky,(James Shaffer), bassist Fieldy (Reginald Arvizu), lead guitarist Head (Brian Welch), vocalist Jonathan Davis and drummer Ray Luzier, who replaced original drummer David Silveira.
After making a demo tape in 1993, they released their self-titled debut album just a year later, which was considered a ground-breaking record for its time. After 1996’s Life is Peachy, they started to have much more commercial success when they released their third album Follow the Leader in 1999. This album reached number one on the Billboard 200, as did the following album Issues in 2001.
In the years since, Korn have continued to be a popular and big-selling band despite the genre that they pioneered having faded out of popularity a very long time ago, but that’s the story of classic rock. So, here is out top 10 favorite Korn songs.
# 10 – Get Up
Kicking off the list is a track from one of the band’s 2011 album titled The Path of Totality. This track is a collaboration with hip hop artist Skrillex. Whilst such a move is never going to convert any of the band’s critics, for long-time fans, it is something that works very well and is a musical decision that definitely helped the band to stay relevant in the contemporary musical climate.
# 9 – Here to Stay
Next we have a track that was the lead single from 2002’s Untouchables. This track is easily one of the heaviest the band have ever done, featuring a thundering bass riff which recalls the influence that the band have from underground industrial acts such as Godflesh. The title of the song seems to hint at the fact that the band were making something of a statement, that they were here to stay and to silence the naysayers who were claiming that their career was fading as a result of the nu metal genres decline in popularity.
# 8 – Blind
This song was the band’s debut single from their debut album in 1994. It was written while Davis was in a band called Sexart who he left to join Korn. The entirety of the song was written by Sexart drummer Dennis Shin. It was released as a promotional single in several different countries. As far as chart success went, it reached it reached number fifteen on the Canadian Alternative Top Thirty.
# 7 – Thoughtless
This next track is the second single from Untouchables which charted at number eleven on the US Alternative chart and number thirty-seven on the UK chart. The song’s lyrical content is about the Columbine high school shootings from the perspective of the murderers. It would seem that is taking a rather sympathetic look at the shooters, as Davis has stated that the track deals with the idea of constantly being ridiculed and the effects and ultimately tragic consequences that it can have.
# 6 – Love and Meth
This is a track that marked the return of Head on guitar after he had left the band for period of time after converting to Christianity. It is taken from 2013’s The Paradigm Shift and is about struggles with drug addiction, inspired a lot by the band members own problems with substance abuse. It is a great example of the kind of thing that Korn do best: a heavy and mosh-inducing song with dark and thoughtful lyrics.
# 5 – No One’s There
This track is the closer of Untouchables which has a feel of the band coming to terms with their personal demons, although they continue to sing about such things to this day. It is one of the less heavy in the band’s catalog, almost having something of an 80’s goth feel, albeit with a heavier guitar riff. As far as Korn numbers go, it is easily among the most epic sounding things that they have done.
# 4 – Haze
This is a track that was originally recorded for a video game of the same name. It was released in 2008 as a digital single, a month before the release of the game. Davis stated that he was a fan of the game and that was why he wanted to record a song for it. The song is about how everyone as individual goes through tough times and become stronger people as a result. The lyrics are based around the game’s lead character and the obstacles that he has to overcome over the course of the game’s narrative.
# 3 – Narcissistic Cannibal
This next song was the second single to be taken from The Path of Totality. It was produced by two DJ’s- Skrillex and Kill the Noise. It was first released in October 2018 to mainstream rock and metal stations, after which it charted in several different countries, with its highest being number two on the UK rock chart. Davis has said of the lyrics are “about watching people who are so narcissistic destroy themselves.”
# 2 – Did my Time
This song was released in 2003 originally recorded for the film Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, the video for it featuring the film’s star Angelina Jolie. Initially released as single to help promote the film, it was later featured on their album released later that year called Take a Look in the Mirror. The song to this date is the band’s only entry in the US Hot 100 where it peaked at number thirty-eight.
# 1 – Freak on a Leash
At the top spot is the track largely considered to be Korn’s signature track taken from 1999’s Follow the Leader. Aside from the song itself, there is the promo video which is often considered to be rather ground-breaking and won them their first Grammy. It charted globally in the mainstream charts of several different countries as well as in several different American charts, its highest being number six in the Billboard Alternative chart.
Top 10 Korn Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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