Metal Cover Art, Poseur Music

Okay, this isn’t actually poseur music. Not really. When it came time to choose the cover for their albums, these non-metal bands weren’t trying to trick anyone. We don’t think. But especially in times before the internet, great leaps of faith were taken at the record store, often based on cover art alone. The following bands roped in more than a few metal fans who thought they were picking up something headbanging… to find their heads pitifully un-banged only hours later.

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer- Brain Salad Surgery

If the band had only gone by ELP, this 1973 prog epic would have definitely snagged more suckers. But despite the grim H.R. Giger layout and metal-as-fuck title, three dudes’ last names as a band moniker is a pretty big red flag.

Pulp- This is Hardcore

“I was 14 years old, rummaging through used CDs at a joint called Last Vestige, and took the title at its word. I was expecting something akin to Helmet or Orange 9mm, and received English alternarock. I was admittedly skeptical of the band’s logo but figured at the very least it would give me a provocative album cover to stare at before my parents’ dial-up internet was installed.” – Sean Frasier

KISS- Greatest Kiss

“I wasn’t expecting black metal, per se, but I was unfamiliar with their music outside of ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night’ and I was expecting something seriously rocking. I did not get that.” – Jeff Treppel

Molly Hatchet- Every Album

“When I was a kid, living in Arkansas in the 70s, I always figured those Molly Hatchet records HAD to be metal. I finally heard some Molly Hatchet in the 80s and I was SUPER-PERPLEXED. They sounded like Lynyrd Skynyrd!” – Brent Burton

The Moody Blues- In Search of the Lost Chord

Like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, it’s hard to believe a band called the Moody Blues is gonna melt your face. And at least by the time I was record-purchasing age, I’d heard “Knights in White Satin” enough times to know this was probably not gonna be my bag. But I still hear that skull whispering sometimes, asking me to search for whatever lost chord on here is actually brutal.

There’s a bunch more, right? What non-metal albums fooled your ass?