Korn's cathartic alternative metal sound positioned the group among the most popular and provocative to emerge during the post-grunge era. Korn began their existence as the Bakersfield, CA-based metal band LAPD, which included guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch, bassist Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arvizu, and drummer David Silveria. After issuing an LP, the members of LAPD in 1993 crossed paths with Jonathan Davis, a mortuary science student moonlighting as the lead vocalist for the local group Sexart. They soon asked Davis to join the band, and upon his arrival the quintet rechristened itself Korn.
After signing to Epic's Immortal imprint, they issued their debut album in late 1994; thanks to a relentless tour schedule that included stints opening for Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Marilyn Manson, and 311, the record slowly but steadily rose the charts, eventually going gold. Its 1996 follow-up, Life Is Peachy, was a more immediate smash, reaching the number three spot on the pop album charts. The following summer, they headlined Lollapalooza, but were forced to drop off the tour when Shaffer was diagnosed with viral meningitis. While recording their best-selling 1998 LP Follow the Leader, Korn made national headlines when a student in Zeeland, MI, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the group's logo (the school's principal later declared their music "indecent, vulgar, and obscene," prompting the band to issue a cease-and-desist order). Their annual Family Values tour also started in 1998, featuring a lineup that consisted of Korn collaborators such as Limp Bizkit and Ice Cube and likeminded artists such as Rammstein. The tour was an enormous success, so much so that it continued on with Korn overseeing the lineup for years after.
Issues followed in 1999, and in typical Korn fashion they debuted their new single in an episode of South Park. The band toured behind the album into the next year, but their efforts were cut short by an injury that took out drummer David Silveria. They hired former Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin to help them finish the remaining shows, and took a short rest before joining a summer tour with Metallica, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, and System of a Down. (Silveria later returned amid rumors of leaving the band for a fashion career, but these stemmed from some modeling work he had done before his injury.) In the meantime, Fieldy released a gangsta rap album and Davis scored the film Queen of the Damned, but at the end of 2001 the band reunited as a unit and entered the studio. A few shows with Static-X helped iron the wrinkles out of the new material, and by the next summer they had Untouchables ready for release. Korn did a run of Ozzfest dates in support, and the album was another smash hit. The self-produced Take a Look in the Mirror arrived in 2003. Billed by the band as a reconsideration of their sound, the album was accompanied by a tour of smaller venues called "Back to Basics."
In 2005, Welch left the band, evidently due to his newfound Christian faith. But Korn continued, playing shows that summer as a quartet and signing an expansive recording and development deal with Virgin. The following December they released See You on the Other Side, a number three hit that featured a batch of songs co-written with hitmaking production team the Matrix. Live & Rare, an aptly titled disc of live recordings and rarities, was released in May 2006 with the live acoustic recording MTV Unplugged following in March 2007. Later that year, after returning to the studio, this time without drummer David Silveria, the band resurfaced with an underwhelming album appropriately named Untitled.
Source: Jason Ankeny & Bradley Torreano, All Music Guide; eNotes
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Lynyrd Skynyrd were one of the most dominant southern rock bands of the of the early 70’s, until lead singer and chief songwriter Ronnie Van Zant and other band members died tragically on a flight to Baton Rouge, Lousiana. The band attained iconic status between, 1973-1977, particularly in the southern states in America. The band were a working class band that drew on inspiration around them for almost every aspect of their music, in particular the peculiar name (Lynyrd Skynyrd), the name was inspired by a high school teacher that taught some of the band that went by the name Leonard Skinnerd who was a strict disciplinarian. The name would become one of the most distinctive names in pop music.
The band was built around front man Ronnie Van Zant who got together with some of his high school friends Allen Collins (guitar) and Gary Rossington (guitar) to form a band that would later become Lynyrd Skynard. Members Leon Wilkeson (bass), Bob Burns (drums) and Billy Powell (keyboardist) would join the band later, and multiple line-up changes would take place over the years.
The band toured throughout the Southern states in America in the early 70's, but it was not until the band met, producer Al Kooper that the bands luck changed. (Kooper played and recorded with Bob Dylan when he "went electric”) Shortly after meeting Kooper, the band were signed to MCA records, produced by Kooper himself. The band would go on to record six albums (including a live album) between 1973 and 1977, producing rock classics such as ‘Free Bird’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ (Both Kooper produced).
Tragically in 1977 Ronnie Van Zant and other members of the band died in a plane crash that would eventually spell the end of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band decided to disband following the tragedy. Lynyrd Skynyrd's legacy will be as a musically innovative southern rock group who's music has stood the test of time, in 2002 "Sweet Home Alabama" was featured on 8 mile (the Movie) featuring Eminem and Kid Rock sampled 'Sweet Home Alabama' for his 2007 hit single “All Summer Long” signifying Lynyrd Skynyrd’s contemporary appeal. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s relevance was futher demonstrated in 2008 when more than 110,000 turned out for a concert (Bama Jam) in Alabama, which prompted Lynyrd Skynyrd to get back in the studio with an autumn 2009 album slated for release.
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