The Essential Korn
The Essential Korn samples tracks from all six of Korn's studio albums, released on the Los Angeles-based Immortal Records via Epic Records. Immortal was launched in 1994 with Korn's self-titled debut album (including "Blind," "Shoots And Ladders," "Clown," "Faget"). Korn recorded for the label through the end of 2003, when they released Take A Look In The Mirror ("Did My Time," "Right Now," "Y'all Want A Single," "Everything I've Known").
During that time the band issued nearly three dozen singles on the Immortal/Epic imprint, 13 of them included on The Essential Korn. In addition to their Billboard breakthroughs of 1996 ("A.D.I.D.A.S.") and 1999 ("Falling Away From Me"), there are another 12 Top 40 Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock chart sides: "Got The Life," "Freak On A Leash," "Make Me Bad," "Somebody Someone," "Here To Stay," "Thoughtless," "Alone I Break," "Did My Time," "Right Now," "Y'all Want A Single," "Everything I've Known," and their cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3)."
The Essential Korn includes liner notes by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor for allmusic.com and contributing editor to the series of All Music Guide reference books. "There was plenty of darkness in the air during 1994 but nothing was quite so menacing as Korn in its gnarled deformity," he writes of the band's RIAA double-platinum debut album. "There was no mistaking Korn for nothing but a good time or even the old world gloom of Sabbath: this was modern ugliness, music devised to disturb... by design, this was an album meant to build through word of mouth, with metalheads lured into its dangerous world. And so it did."
The debut album and its double-platinum follow-up, 1996's Life Is Peachy were produced by Ross Robinson at the very start of his career (he went on to work with Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Sepultura, and numerous others). Korn's "Shoots And Ladders" earned the band their first Grammy Awardฎ nomination in the Metal category. Robinson also produced "Proud," Korn's contribution to the movie soundtrack for 1997's I Know What You Did Last Summer.
The following year, Korn switched gears and co-produced 1998's Follow The Leader with the team of Steve Thompson and Toby Wright. The 5x-platinum album gave Korn their first entries on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts, "Got The Life" and "Freak On A Leash," and also included guest appearances from Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit (on "All In The Family") and Tre Hardson of Pharcyde (on "Cameltosis"). "Freak On A Leash" brought Korn their first Grammy Awardฎ win, for Best Short Form Music Video (directed by Todd McFarlane), as well as MTV VMAs for Best Rock Video and Best Editing. The collaboration with Thompson and Wright also yielded "Jingle Balls," a perennial Christmas metal classic that was initially included as part of a bonus EP disc (titled All Mixed Up) packaged with Korn's next album, 1999's Issues.
The triple platinum Issues, produced by Brendan O'Brien (of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots renown) upped the ante as it registered three tracks in the upper reaches of the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts: "Falling Away From Me," "Make Me Bad," and "Somebody Someone." Untouchables (2002) continued the platinum album string, as it spun off rock chart hits with "Here To Stay" (Grammy Awardฎ for Best Metal Performance), "Thoughtless," and "Alone I Break."
Korn's final studio album for Immortal/Epic, the platinum Take A Look In The Mirror (released November 2003) was produced by veteran Michael Beinhorn, who had gained respect over the previous decade and a half working with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock and Material, to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson, and Hole, among many others. The album launched four more rock charts hits: "Did My Time," "Right Now," "Y'all Want A Single," and "Everything I've Known." Korn's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 was issued in October 2004, and included the previously unreleased 7-minute cover of all three parts of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall." A limited edition version of Greatest Hits was packaged with a bonus DVD, live at CBGB's in New York City, the source for "Got the Life."
Erlewine's liner notes summarize Korn's subsequent albums on Virgin Records, 2005's See You On The Other Side and their 'untitled' release of 2007. "The group righted their middle age drift," he says of their most recent full-length studio album release of July 2010, Korn III: Remember Who You Are (Roadrunner), "a reunion with Robinson that reconnected them to the nu-metal legacy that can be heard in full on this ESSENTIAL collection."
THE ESSENTIAL KORN
Disc 1 Selections: 1. Blind (A) * 2. Shoots And Ladders (A) * 3. Clown (A) * 4. Faget (A) * 5. A.D.I.D.A.S. (B, Hot 100 #113) * 6. Good God (B) * 7. Twist (B) * 8. Chi (B) * 9. Proud (C) * 10. Got The Life (D, Mainstream Rock #15, Modern Rock #17) * 11. Freak On A Leash (D, Mainstream Rock #10, Modern Rock #6) * 12. It's On! (D) * 13. All In The Family featuring Fred Durst (D) * 14. Cameltosis featuring Tre Hardson (D).
Disc 2 Selections: 1. Falling Away From Me (E, Hot 100 #99, Mainstream Rock #7, Modern Rock #7) * 2. Jingle Balls (F) * 3. Wake Up (E) * 4. Make Me Bad (E, Mainstream Rock #9, Modern Rock #7) * 5. Somebody Someone (E, Mainstream Rock #23, Modern Rock #23) * 6. Here To Stay (G, Hot 100 #72, Mainstream Rock #4, Modern Rock #4) * 7. Thoughtless (G, Mainstream Rock #6, Modern Rock #11) * 8. Alone I Break (G, Mainstream Rock #19, Modern Rock #34) * 9. Did My Time (H, Hot 100 #38, Mainstream Rock #12, Modern Rock #17) * 10. Right Now (H, Mainstream Rock #11, Modern Rock #13) * 11. Y'all Want A Single (H, Mainstream Rock #23) * 12. Everything I've Known (H, Mainstream Rock #30) * 13. Another Brick In The Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3) (I, Mainstream Rock #12, Modern Rock #37) * 14. Got The Life (J, live at CBGB's, New York, NY 11/24/2003).