The Beatles Butcher Cover – What You NEED To Know!

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 Beatles Butcher Cover

The 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

Yesterday And Today Album Cover

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.



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  1. brian
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    i have the white album with the butcher cover on the inside left of opening sleev. The album is white colored and in VG condition. I wondered how much its worth???

  2. Posted February 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Nobody has really made clear to me the difference between the 2nd and 3rd state Butcher Cover. I have the Mono Version paste over Butcher cover from L.A. On the spine of the album itself on side 1 is T-1-2553-G-22 followed by a 2 which is crooked for a lack of a better way to describe it, followed by an star or asterik. the trunk album cover itself has a 6 by the RIAA which indicates LA I believe. Please explain the difference between 2,3, covers. Additionall my sleeve has the original orange 66 sleeve. Thank you Mitch Troupe Modesto Ca

  3. Nere H Ourso
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I believe I have a trunk cover of this album but record sleeve is missing but you can tell the album photo was pasted to cover.
    It has ST 2553 on album and a 1 6 buy the RIAA emblem.
    The record itself I would say condition 9 out of 10 with very minor scratch on it. But it has a Gold Record Adward audited and certified by RIAA on cover.
    So if it worth something I would be willing to sell it to a collector since I’m now in my 60’s its time to pass this memorbila on to someone who appreciates the best generation of music the world has known.

    Nere H Ourso

  4. Tom Patalano
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    have an original butcher cover that i personally peeled in 1966,with album still in sleeve,may be looking to part by email if interested.

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