Dick’s Picks: The Beatles legendary rarity, Yesterday and Today

This is the 1966 US first press 11-track mono LP of The Beatles legendary rarity, Yesterday and Today, with the textured ‘Butcher’ cover pasted picture sleeve. This version is known as the third state as it has had the trunk picture slick carefully peeled off to reveal the Butcher cover in its full glory.

he Beatles Yesterday & Today album was released in the US by Capitol Records on June 15th 1966. The cover featured a highly controversial picture of the group dressed in white butcher smocks showing raw cuts of meat and parts of toy dolls strewn about their apparel.

The album was issued to radio stations and stores in advance of release, but caused such an uproar that it was almost immediately recalled.

As so many copies of the offensive cover had already been manufactured at great cost, it was decided that rather than scrap these covers and reprint, a different picture slick showing the group around a luggage trunk would be printed and pasted over the offensive image.

As news spread of the picture underneath people tried to peel off the new slick to reveal the picture underneath with varying success.

A ‘butcher’ cover as issued by Capitol in its natural state is known as a first state copy. Mono copies fetch many thousands of dollars, regardless of condition, with stereo copies fetching even more since there were twenty times more mono than stereo copies produced.

A ‘butcher’ cover with the trunk cover slick pasted over the top is known as a second state. If you look carefully at the white area on the right hand side of the sleeve, Ringo’s black v-neck sweater can be seen through the replacement slick.

Lastly a ‘butcher’ sleeve with the trunk cover slick peeled off is known as a third state. It is very rare that a trunk cover slick can be removed without damaging the butcher picture underneath.

Very few copies were reportedly sold in stores with this cover in its first state.

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