The 11 Million Dollar Sleeve
Pete Nash tells the story behind the notorious ‘Butcher’ cover - one of The Beatles’most collectable rarities.
Yesterday And Today was the 12th Beatles album issued in the USA. The album gained notoriety primarily for the controversy surrounding its original cover image, the infamous ‘butcher cover’, which featured the four Beatles dressed in white smocks covered with decapitated baby dolls and pieces of raw bloody meat.
The album was originally scheduled for release by Capitol Records on 15th June 1966, but had to be hastily withdrawn and a new album cover substituted, creating an instant collectors item.
The Beatles US-based record label, Capitol, was notorious for ‘butchering’ the Beatles albums after the tracks had been carefully sequenced at Abbey Road Studios here in the UK. Capitol Records would leave some tracks off the US releases, add other left-over tracks and also include songs that had been specifically recorded by the group for single release only. In this way, Capitol Records managed to issue nearly twice as many Beatles albums in the US while using the same number of tracks!
One of the worst examples of this “butchering” of the Beatles recorded work was the Yesterday And Today album, which included tracks from the group’s UK versions of the albums Help!, Rubber Soul and the yet to be released Revolver plus both sides of the current single Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out.
Perhaps as a less …
by Pete Nash
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