If you are a fan of the Beatles, you know the Beatles Butcher Cover refers to the album entitled “Yesterday And Today” that was released by the Beatles in June of 1966. The cover is referred to as the Butcher Cover because of the photo on it. The original cover showed the fab four sitting in white lab coats with mutilated baby body parts and pieces of meat strewn about them. Of course, they were not real babies, but dolls that had their heads, legs and arms removed. The photo was taken by Robert Whitaker and was supposed to be a piece of conceptual art.
The Original Beatles Butcher Cover
The actual photo was never intended to be the album cover for the released album. Paul McCartney had described the photo as being their way of making a statement on the war. The cover was not released in the United States. The U.S. version of that particular album had the same cover as “Paperback Writer”. The production company at the time was Capitol Records and they were going to destroy all of the album covers that carried the butcher photo.
At some point, the Capitol Records changed their mind and decided instead to paste a replacement photo over the original and release it. The replacement photo featured John Lennon and a steamer trunk. These new copies were called the “trunk” copies and people who purchased them would try to peel the replacement photo off in hopes of revealing the original Butcher Cover underneath. Usually they were not successful and only ended up ruining the cover images altogether. If they had left the cover as it was, it would have been worth some money eventually. As is turned out, there were a few of the original cover albums that got out as well as the revised “trunk” copies.
The Cover Up! The Yesterday And Today Album Cover
Today these covers are worth money to people who still having them intact. The original covers with the butchered doll images are referred to as the first state covers while the second release with the paste on cover are second state covers. It is extremely rare to find an original cover copy for this album, but there are some out there. In 1987, the president of Capitol Records who had 24 of the original designed covers sold them. The price today for one of the original covers with the butcher theme goes for as much as $40,000.
If you happen to be in possession of the Beatles Butcher Cover, you can check with a certified dealer in music collectibles to see what the going price for your cover would be. There are several Beatles collectors that will pay top dollar for rare items from the Beatles original days. Even though the onslaught of Beatles mania has been long gone for several decades now, the legend of the group will live on. They were extraordinary musicians as well as pioneers in the field of creating change for humanity. Their controversial music and lifestyles will serve as a reflection of a turbulent time for many generations to come.