Korn’s 10 best music videos – ranked
For over two and a half decades and still counting, Korn have not only given us some of the greatest metal albums and songs of all time, they’ve also delivered some genuinely brilliant, groundbreaking music videos. Over the years, we’ve had everything from Angelina Jolie squaring up with Jonathan Davis for a scream-off (Did My Time) to gigs in crop circles (Let The Guilt Go) and faces superimposed onto roving dogs (Word Up!). None of those videos, however, feature in this list. Here, we’re picking the 10 best.
Korn have made a lot of big budget, thematic videos (Falling Away From Me and Make Me Bad, we’re looking at you), but for sheer weirdness, uniqueness and OTT grandeur let’s start this list with Thoughtless. Looking back now, it is extremely 2002, yet the aggressively flippant disregard for subtlety makes this a winner. Surely you didn’t forget that Korn hired Aaron Paul – yes, he who would later go on to play Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad – to bring the song’s tortured lyrics to life by projectile puking over a prom scene while CGI demons contort beneath the surface of his skin?
While not the deranged ruffians they used to be, Korn still make videos that possess the power to disturb and unsettle. We submit as evidence, your honour, the video for Insane. Korn don’t appear in it, and you can hardly blame them: the story here, splicing gothic ghost story with J‑horror atmosphere, is the stuff of nightmares. Almost as if the Victorian tradition of shooting posed post-mortem pictures of their loved ones wasn’t creepy enough, they throw in purgatorial inter-dimensional realities, too. Never say Korn don’t spoil you.
8. Y'all Wanna Single
Even if you don’t rate Korn’s infectious middle finger salute to the music industry as a song, the fact remains that the video for Y’All Wanna Single was ahead of its time. Overlaying footage of the band and fans smashing up (what Google informs us was once called…) ‘a record shop’, there are an array of truth bombs dropped, questions raised and statistics rolled out about the music industry that are still on-going today (how many times you hear the same fucking song on the radio? How much is a song really worth?). Listen up and learn, it pays to be infoЯmed.
7. Right Now
You know what, actually, we highly advise you don’t watch this – just skip right on to entry #6. The fact that Right Now’s accompanying video is an animated affair does little to dilute the effect of seeing such gross acts of self-mutilation. On the off chance your eyeballs don’t dissolve and dribble out over your cheeks while watching it, you may actually crack a smile at just how ludicrously disgusting it all is. Sadly, you may also be a serial killer and should probably report yourself to the proper authorities.
6. Got The Life
In 1999, on the back of their fourth album Follow The Leader, Korn were one of the hottest bands on the planet. Everyone wanted a piece of them. Got The Life was the moment in which they told the world they were sniffing bullshit and promptly moved to reject fame, hangers-on and, seemingly from their actions here, perfectly serviceable automobiles. What we have here is effectively a mini movie of nu-metal’s unprecedented surge in popularity and, in many ways, an omen as to what would ultimately prove to be its eventual downfall.
5. Twisted Transistor
Even more than Got The Life, Twisted Transistor was Korn’s moment of Spinal Tap-ian self-effacement: recruiting Snoop Doggy Dogg, Lil Jon, David Banner and Xzibit to play exaggerated versions of themselves. Yes, Snoop’s portrayal of a troubled Munkey drew all the praise, plus David Banner’s ‘My faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!’ moment gets the biggest laugh, but Xzibit is the real star for his moving, devastatingly nuanced portrayal of Fieldy. Pause the video at precisely 6:02. That, Daniel Day Lewis, is how you do method acting, mate.
4. Here To Stay
In 2002, at the height of nu-metal’s dominance, the pressure was on Korn. Not only did they need to prove they were the scene’s godfathers as Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit continued to rise and rise, they also needed to justify the approximately $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 they spent recording their fifth album Untouchables. It was heralded by the static-drenched video for Here To Stay, one of their greatest songs and most unforgettable videos. In short: they proved their point. Also: fans of foot fetishism, animal attack footage and nuclear explosions were, presumably, ecstatic.
And so comes the first of three videos you could make a convincing argument for being Korn’s finest. Even after all these years, the simplicity of A.D.I.D.A.S.’ mercilessly bleak concept remains astounding: film the ghostly aftermath of a car crash all the way from police scene to autopsy slab. And hey, here’s a weird thing: ever wondered why a video that treats the subject of death with such unflinching detail seems to fit, tonally, so perfectly with lyrics about sexual lust? Frankly, we’re too scared to ask anyone.
2. Freak On A Leash
If you’re baffled as to why this isn’t number one, you have every goddamn right to be. Korn’s Freak On A Leash is not only a landmark video for the band, but one of the best music videos of all time. With Todd McFarlane – he of Spawn fame – directing, this seminal clip broke down the barrier between an animated world and reality by tailing the trajectory of one pesky bullet. It’s all the things you think it is: innovative, striking and very, very powerful. But there’s one thing it doesn’t quite do, something that the best Korn video does…
Blind is not just an epiphanic moment in the history of heavy metal, one that forever altered its sound, it also gave us Korn’s best video. Why? Simple. Korn don’t – and never did – need A‑List actresses, celebrity chums and expensive special effects: they just needed to capture the raw intensity of their music. Blind sees Jonathan Davis, in particular, performing like his tortured soul is escaping his body in front of a crowd who are diligently ignoring health and safety regulations. This remains the spirit of Korn captured for the ages; a lightning in the bottle moment for both the band and heavy music itself.
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