Many of the Beatles’ early U.S. album releases were missing songs that appeared on the original British versions. So in 1966, Capitol Records took all of the band’s omitted songs and released them in the U.S. and Canada as one album called Yesterday and Today.
Around that same time, the Beatles had a photo shoot with photographer Robert Whitaker, who instructed them to pose with pieces of raw meat and dismembered baby dolls (supposedly to illustrate the absurdity of Beatlemania). Somehow, the band convinced the record company to use one of Whitaker’s photos for the cover of Yesterday and Today. Capitol printed hundreds of thousands of copies of the album but then had second thoughts (not everyone enjoys raw meat and dismembered dolls, it seems). A new print run would cost too much money, so Capitol simply pasted a new, inoffensive image directly over it. A few copies of what became known as “The Butcher Album” slipped by, of course. Yesterday and Today originally sold for about $4. Today, a good quality copy of the album — with the original cover — can be worth as much as $12,000.
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