Personnel: Jonathan Davis (vocals, bagpipe); Brian Welch, James "Munky" Shaffer (guitar); David Silveria (drums).
Recording information: CBGB's, New York, NY (11/24/2003).
Spanning two discs and boasting 28 tracks culled from all nine of the provocative post-grunge/alternative metal outfit's albums, Epic/Legacy's Essential Korn presents a solid overview of the rap metal pioneers' first two decades. Digitally remastered and stocked with favorites like "Freak on a Leash," "Shoots and Ladders," "Here to Stay," "Make Me Mad," and "Got the Life," the latter of which appears in both its studio and live incarnations, Essential throws out the net and hauls in the biggest catch it can, tossing in a pair of non LP tracks like "Jingle Balls" from 1999's All Mixed Up EP, and the blistering "Proud" from the I Know What You Did Last Summer soundtrack (1997) amidst the myriad album cuts. While 2004's single-disc Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 may cover the basics, Essential Korn offers up a master class. ~ James Christopher Monger