19 Years Ago: Korn Releases Their Chart-Topping Album 'Issues'

November 16, 2018

It was the turn of the century and it was the time for new beginnings. Jonathan Davis of Korn, after spending the last ten years of living the "sex, drugs and rock & roll" lifestyle to the max and then going through an emotional and mental crash, was going through a transformation of his own. After deciding to take a break from his indulgences, the band hired producer Brendan O'Brien to keep them sharpened and focused on their work. Then on November 16th, 1999, the fruits of their labors shot their careers skyward with their album Issues.

Following their successful 1998 album Follow The LeaderIssues maintained Korn's affinity for being heavy, quirky, funky and experimental. The results gave us the hit single "Falling Away From Me," which topped at No. 7 on both the Mainstream Rock chart and the Modern Rock chart, as well as being chosen for the No. 1 spot on MTV's Total Request Live many times throughout November and December in 1999. Other hit songs that made it off of Issues included "Somebody Someone" and "Make Me Bad."

Jonathan Davis said that much of the lyrical content in Issues came from the mental agony he was in before becoming sober and taking antidepressant medication. With songs like "Beg for Me," Davis addressed his desire to be alone after the amount of pressure he would put himself under.

The band entered West Hollywood's A&M Studios with O'Brien in June 1999 to sharpen their material and would record and mix all sixteen songs for Issues in a matter of three months.

The day before its release, Korn played Issues in its entirety live at Harlem's famous Apollo Theater along with a choir and the NYCPD's pipe and drums section.

Issues debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with over 500,000 copies sold the week of its release, and has since sold more than 5 million copies in the US and 13 million worldwide.

Although Davis maintained his sobriety, the success of Issues lead some of the other band members to amplify their extra-curricular activities which lead to more in-fighting and the eventual departures of guitarist Brian "Head" Welch and David Silveria.