“Soft” would generally be the last word you’d use to describe a heavy metal band. Yet without fail, these titans of anger and aggression occasionally dip into their bag of yacht rock and present us with some very “un-metal” metal songs. Is that a piano note I hear? An acoustic guitar? A glockenspiel? Nah, couldn’t be. Oh but it is. In all fairness, these songs are sometimes written to parody and mock other genres of music. And though our initial response might be one of shock, disappointment or even disgust – we tend to come around and eventually can’t imagine our lives without these soft rocking gems. From Black Sabbath to Accept to Metallica, they’ve all gone there. But we love them just the same. Here’s a list of the most un-metal songs in heavy metal and hard rock history and in honor of today being National Metal Day, November 11th, we’re giving you 11 instead of the usual 10 (Please note: hair metal glam bands have been excluded as otherwise this would be a very loooong list).
1. Kelly & Ozzy Osbourne “Changes”
Black Sabbath first experimented with a downbeat, soft rock vibe, replacing heavy guitars with piano and Mellotron and lyrics about a failed relationship on this song from their album Vol. 4 but “The Prince Of F***ing Darkness” sank to a new low when he teamed up with his daughter on this cover in the wake of The Osbournes TV show.
2. Metallica “Nothing Else Matters”
Whether you consider this tender ballad from their breakout black album a sell out or not, there’s no arguing that this is still a killer song. There’s also no arguing that this is not metal. Well, OK, except for the final guitar solo maybe.