The Beatles released their LP “Yesterday and Today” on June 15, 1966. (Some sour…

Written by on June 17, 2018


The Beatles released their LP “Yesterday and Today” on June 15, 1966. (Some sources say the 14th, others say the 20th). The album featured a cover by photographer Robert Whitaker where the group, dressed in butcher smocks, is surrounded by decapitated baby dolls and raw meat. There were some people who weren’t very happy about the cover.

Although there are rumors, the photo has never been proven as a statement by the group on Vietnam or Capitol’s practice of “butchering” their UK albums for US releases. The photographer had the idea, which at least one Beatle later described as “gross” and “stupid.”

The ensuing outrage forced Capitol to recall as many of the albums as possible. At first the idea was to destroy all the covers. All the copies that were at Capitol Records offices in Hollywood, were originally said to be destroyed by slicing them into 3 sections and thrown in the dumpster. (Someone had the foresight to ‘rescue’ the pieces and those units are some the rarest of any Beatle record). In reality, many executives at Capitol “took home” some copies before it was decided to paste a new picture over the “butcher” cover. The new picture was of the band sitting in and around a large steamer trunk.

There are a number of the original “Butcher” cover around. These were albums that were sold in the first days of release before the recall. Of the copies that have pasted over pictures, many people have tried to remove the picture to revel the original. Some have done a good job, others have ruined it. There are some collectors who prefer copies with the pasted cover still intact. However, the vast majority of the “Yesterday and Today” albums that are out there, were made after the original pressing and have nothing to do with the original “Butcher” cover.

Happy 52nd Birthday to The Beatles LP “Yesterday and Today”!!

How many of you have a “Butcher” cover?




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