The image for The Black Keys album, El Camino is anything but.◊ No vintage muscle car is visible, only a rusted, white van with faux wood paneling.
The band Roxy Music always used women on their album covers despite the fact there were no women in the band. They did this because they wanted to evoke exotica covers and magazine covers of the 50s. The fact that Roxy is also a woman's name led a lot of people to buy the albums thinking it was female sung exotica from Latin America, not male sung art rock from England.
This cover◊ for the album Share the Fantasy by Godheadsilo makes it seem like a Black Metal-esque cover, but the music is really psychedelic noise rock.
This cover◊ for the album Visit Me by R&B group Changing Faces. Which would suggest a lot of sex driven songs. It's not... the album has nothing to do with sexual themes or topics. The album consists of Lighter and Softer R&B songs about relationships and the inherent drama.
The Kinks' album Face to Face features an iconic 60s cover that includes a white background, and some pretty psychedelic colors and art. The Kinks' frontman, Ray Davies, has stated that he was never happy with the cover, and that he thought a simple black cover much better suited the style of the album itself.
Nearly every single Super Eurobeat cover lives and breathes this trope, quite notably in Super Eurobeat 175◊, which features upbeat and fun tunes such as this.
Famously, the cover for Led Zeppelin IV (which doesn't even feature a title!) shows a significantly weathered image of an old man on a rural road, suggesting that the record was going to be nothing but hippie folk music. While there is some of that ("The Battle Of Evermore," for instance), the tracks that most people remember from this album are the heavy metal standards "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll" - and "Stairway to Heaven," which actually starts out as a medieval ballad, but has morphed into a full-blown headbanger by the climax.
This was entirely intentional, as was leaving out the band's name entirely from the cover. They wanted to show the critics their music could stand on their own without all the hype surrounding them. Of course, everyone knew who made that album anyway, so...
Some album covers, such as certain editions of Front Line Assembly's Civilization, list the tracks in the wrong order.
My Brightest Diamond's album A Thousand Sharks Teeth consists of a photo of Shara Worden playing an accordion. There's no accordion to be heard anywhere on the album.
A later re-issue featured an updated band photo on the cover with Bruce Kulick, who doesn't perform on the album either
Nick Drake's Music/PinkMoon◊ is an extremely sparse, short folk album, but the cover makes it look more like an avant-garde jazz album.
A Canadian band who called themselves the "Rainbow Butt Monkeys" released their sole album "Letters from Chutney" with an extremely odd photo of three 50s looking women on lawn mowers. A total lack of moneys is noticeable, as well as the fact that you would have no idea that this is a straight up grunge record until you started it up. though seeing the band in the inlay may give you a hint◊
Out To Lunch! by Eric Dolphy: The bizarre clock on the album cover doesn't provide any helpful answer when the person will be back from lunch? It's not even clear whether it's actually in the middle of the afternoon?!
The Complete Recordings by Robert Johnson. It is the most complete collection of Johnson's work around, that's true, though it's not entirely complete. There is one alternate take of "Traveling Riverside Blues" missing.
Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed shows Reed posing in a leather jacket, sunglasses on the nose, looking badass. So you would expect this album to be a good rock record, right? Wrong, it's nothing but droning and screeching guitar feedback that is Sensory Abuse to the ears!
Elvis Presley: Arguably the most notorious, yet atrocious concert album in his career is Having Fun With Elvis On Stage, a 35 minute collection of nothing but Elvis cracking jokes with the audience, without any music or context of what is going on? Not only is the record painfully unfunny, a lot of it is technically not even a joke, just Elvis saying random things in interaction with his audience. Half of the time he is clearly just rambling, before deciding his jokes are falling flat or his story isn't going anywhere.
The cover for the single release of the Genesis song "The Knife" is a group picture of the classic line-up, including Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, who don't perform on the track in question (the album it came from, Trespass, was made before either of them joined the band, and it featured Anthony Phillips and John Mayhew on guitar and drums, respectively).