Did you know that Korn once did an unexpectedly brilliant cover of Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall? No? Then you need to watch it now! Besides incredible musical talent, one thing that the most famous bands have in common is a distinctive sound.
That's not to say that their songs all sound the same; they just have a quality that identifies their music. One of the bands that demonstrate this best is Jamiroquai. If one of their songs comes on the radio, it's easy to tell it's them even if you've never heard it before.
This unique sound can make it difficult for bands who want to cover a song. For example, one of the things that makes Go Your Own Way so epic is that every note marks it out as Fleetwood Mac. So when two bands have such different sounds, as Korn and Fleetwood Mac do, making a cover could either be a work of genius or an absolute train wreck. Luckily for us, it's the former.
Pink Floyd was a renowned rock band from 1965 all the way to the 90s. Their music was part of the psychedelic wave that swept Britain, and many of their albums were designed to be listened to as a single piece of music rather than individual tracks. In contrast, Korn is part of the Nu Metal wave, starting in the 90s. Korn was one of the pioneers of this type of music and was partly responsible for bringing it into the musical mainstream.
However, one element that brings these two very different bands together is pain. Both bands injected themes of loss, abandonment and inner demons into their music, so perhaps Korn deciding to cover Another Brick In The Wall is not as strange as it might initially seem.
Pink Floyd wrote Another Brick In The Wall in three separate parts on their rock opera album The Wall. In the first part, the protagonist Pink builds a mental or emotional wall around himself as he struggles to cope with his father's death. In part two, Pink's troubles continue, and he battles abuse from his teachers and rebels against an overprotective mother. Finally, in part 3, he breaks down and becomes violent. He loses respect for everyone he knows, dismissing them as "just bricks in the wall."
Korn recorded all three parts on their Greatest Hits Vol 1 album in 2004, as well as another Pink Floyd song, Goodbye Cruel World. Their version has a much more hard rock sound than the original. Rather than being too much, it somehow injects even more pain and raw emotion into it.
If you've never heard it, you need to check out this live performance at Sziegert in Germany in 2012. It begins with Ray Luzier performing an epic drum solo which ratchets up the drama and tension as you wait for the lights to come up and the song to start. Then, when Jonathan Davies starts to sing, his raw, rasping quality complements the song's themes beautifully.
Not everyone loved Korn's version, however. Ultimate Classic Rock writer Will Levith called it "one of the worst covers of a classic rock song of all time." Luckily, not everyone agrees. The video has been watched 18.7 million times and received 134,000 likes. It seems both Pink Floyd and Korn fans love it, so listen to it now.