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On The Record With Cindy – A Closer Look At The Beatles Butcher Cover

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This week in On The Record With Cindy we talk about The Beatles. They thought America was butchering their records in the 60’s. See how they rebelled with the ‘Yesterday and Today’ album cover. 

Yes in 1966, The Beatles felt the United States was butchering their albums or music. In England, they would release 14 songs on an album then some singles after that. In the United States, the Capital record label would take all the songs plus the singles, and turn them into three albums and then put singles out that were already on the LPs. John Keller, the owner of Off-Center Records, tells us “to make a mockery of this practice (and to show The Beatles wit) they dressed as butchers and placed meat and doll parts to signify that Capitol was cutting up their records (their babies, so to speak).”

phil creighton/TSM
Phil Creighton/TSM

The original, uncovered versions were sent to radio stations and reviewers. The outcry was tremendous, and all records that were sent to the stores were recalled. The 3 Capitol factories were to destroy the covers and replace them with the “trunk cover.” One factory, possibly to save money, simply pasted the new ‘slick’ over the offensive one. By the time the error was discovered, many “paste-overs” were sent to stores and sold.
An original, uncovered album is worth tens of thousands of dollars. Very few exist. Paste Overs are plentiful enough now,  a couple of thousand dollars can buy a good copy. Peeled versions can be very cheap or thousands depending on if it was done correctly with minimum tearing. Paste Overs will be in higher demand shortly as more people peel theirs.

Phil Creighton/TSM
Phil Creighton/TSM

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