Wednesday 28 October 2015


AN incredibly rare copy of a controversial Beatles album cover has emerged for sale for £4,500.

The original cover of The Beatles' album Yesterday and Today caused outrage on its release in 1966 - but by that point US record company Capitol had already printed 750,000 copies of it.
The Beatles are said to have submitted the gruesome image for use on the cover in retaliation for Capitol insisting on the release of the album, which was made up from leftover tracks from the band's previous two UK releases. Inundated with complaints, the record company soon withdrew the albums but in order to save money they simply stuck another photograph on top of the offending cover.
When word got out among fans of the modification many tried - unsuccessfully - to peel off the new cover to reveal the original image.


A handful of the unmodified covers survived and untouched copies of the original cover known as 'first state' are now prized collectors' items.
The album cover, known among fans as the 'Butcher cover', is owned by a former employee of Capitol Records who worked in the company's mail room.
It is tipped to make $7,000 - around £4,500 - when it goes under the hammer at Julien's Auctions in the US.
Darren Julien, from the auction house, said: "The Beatles were the biggest band in the world and they were always looking to push the boundaries in whatever they did.
The auction will take place in Los Angeles on November 7.
"With this album cover they might have been pushing it a little too far, even for them. It's something that only the Beatles could have dreamed up and only the Beatles that could have got away with it.
"The cover was so controversial at the time that Capitol Records decided to recall the hundreds of thousands of copies they had already issued. "But some originals slipped through the net and they're now worth a lot of money to Beatles collectors. "It seemed like a crazy risk at the time but it's why we're still talking about the Beatles today - because they were such creative geniuses." The 'Butcher' cover was so shocking at the time that it also caused a rift within the band itself.
Lennon and McCartney instantly defended its use stating it was "as relevant as Vietnam" but Harrison was not so convinced.

In The Beatles Anthology, a documentary about the band, he said the idea was "gross" and "stupid". He added: "Sometimes we all did stupid things thinking it was cool and hip when it was naive and dumb, and that was one of them." Yesterday and Today was the 11th album by the Beatles in the US.
Tracks included Yesterday and Act Naturally from Help!, and Nowhere Man, What Goes On, Drive My Car and If I Needed Someone from Rubber Soul.
The double A-side hits Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out were included as were I'm Only Sleeping, Doctor Robert and And Your Bird Can Sing from then unreleased album Revolver.

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