Korn is one of the most notable names when it comes to nu metal. For those who are unfamiliar, this is a kind of metal incorporating influences from other music genres that managed to become popular in the 1990s. However, it is interesting to note that there were metal fans who refused to label nu metal as a kind of metal, which coincided with nu metal musicians who refused to label themselves as metal musicians. Regardless, Korn has had a huge impact on nu metal through its rise, its fall, and its subsequent revival, not least because it is a nu metal pioneer that has remained quite active for more than two decades’ time.
10. Alone I Break
Sometimes, a band diverging from its general style can produce something quite impressive. For proof, look no further than “Alone I Break,” which struggles with dark thoughts but nonetheless manages to end on a cathartic note.
9. Twisted Transistor
It is natural for bands to undergo continuous evolution over time. One of the most notable transitions in Korn’s style can be seen in “Twisted Transistor,” which was the band’s first single following Brian Welch’s departure in 2005. The song is bouncier, more pop-influenced than its predecessors, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, seeing as how it is also very danceable.
Despite Korn’s fondness for wearing Adidas apparel in its earliest years, “A.D.I.D.A.S.” isn’t named for the brand. Instead, it is an acronym that most people should have no problem guessing, not least because it dates at least as far back as the 1970s. On the whole, “A.D.I.D.A.S.” might not be very serious in nature, but there is a reason that it is sometimes considered to be the band’s breakthrough single.
7. Shoots and Ladders
Nursery rhymes can get pretty dark. To name an example, “London Bridge Is Falling Down” is self-explanatory. However, it is interesting to note that there are darker explanations for how it came to be, with examples ranging from the supposed destruction of London Bridge by Olaf II of Norway in 1014 to the idea of a human sacrifice buried beneath the structure’s foundations to ensure that it will continue to stand. As such, the way that “Shoots and Ladders” uses nursery rhymes is surprisingly fitting. For that matter, the song is also extra-memorable because of its bag-pipes, which aren’t exactly the first instrument that comes to mind for most people when they think of metal. Despite this, they worked out quite well, thus making them that much better.
“Daddy” is a very personal song. After all, it was inspired by Jonathan Davis’s experience with child abuse, which explains why it has never been played live since it was recorded in the studio. Despite the name, the one who abused the singer wasn’t his father but rather someone who was a friend of his family at the time. Instead, Davis was additionally traumatized by his parents not believing him when he spoke out about what had happened.
5. Here to Stay
By 2002, Korn had entered into an experimental stage. However, “Here to Stay” is notable for being one of the band’s heaviest releases, coming off as a powerful explosion of pent-up feeling. Moreover, it earned Korn a Grammy for Best Metal Performance, which speaks volumes about its critical reception.
4. Falling Away from Me
In 1999, Korn was quite excited about the upcoming release of its fourth album Issues, so much so that the members made the choice to make the single “Falling Away from Me” available for download by interested individuals free of charge. To provide extra incentive, the band even vowed to donate 25 cents to charities helping out kids in need for every person who signed their guestbook, which resulted in a donation of more than $250,000. The choice of charities made perfect sense because “Falling Away from Me” was centered on domestic abuse as well as how it is possible for people to get help for domestic abuse because no one deserves to be treated that way. Indeed, its video was very clear about its anti-child abuse message.
3. Freak on a Leash
Korn started up in 1993. Still, it took the band some time to break into the mainstream. “Freak on a Leash” can claim a significant share of the responsibility in that regard because of how often it was requested on MTV’s Total Request Live. As for the song itself, well, suffice to say that “Freak on a Leash” is considered by a lot of people to be Korn at Korn’s most iconic. Even now, it remains one of the band’s most successful singles ever.
2. Got the Life
Speaking of which, “Freak on a Leash” wasn’t alone. After all, it was preceded by “Got the Life,” which was the second of the three singles from Follow the Leader. On the whole, this song didn’t get a great deal of attention from the critical press. However, “Got the Life” seems to have been very popular with the listeners, seeing as how it was requested so much on Total Request Live that it became the show’s first video to be “retired.” In this, it paved the way for “Freak on a Leash,” which managed the same feat a few months later.
Technically, “Blind” was written when Jonathan Davis was still with Sexart rather than Korn. However, it is nonetheless a very well-known part of the latter band’s repertoire, not least because it was the first single of their first album. For that matter, Korn did make some changes of their own, with an excellent example being the extended intro. Regardless, “Blind” receives this spot because it launched nu metal as a whole, meaning that there are very few songs out there that can match the sheer impact that it has had on modern music.