What You Need to Know About the Beatles Rare Butcher Cover Album - Yesterday and Today
Beatles Butcher Album Superimposed
Is there a Beatles Butcher Cover underneath this Yesterday and Today album cover?
Could this innocent looking photo of The Beatles be a cover up of the recalled Butcher Cover as it's now known? How can you tell if the album of "Yesterday And Today" with the band hanging around an open trunk is actually one of the tens of thousands slicks that was pasted over to hide the original cover?
If you're a Beatles fan, like I am, then you probably know about the recall of 750,000 albums distributed in June 1966 by Capitol records. The original cover photo (taken by Robert Whitaker) had the band members wearing white lab jackets with ripped off doll heads and raw meat all over them. A little strong for that era - even though it was described as "conceptual art."
When Capitol records altered the cover with the new "Trunk" photo, it wasn't placed in exact alignment and had to be trimmed 1/8" to 3/16" of an inch. Also, look real close and look for a bleed-through of Ringo's black V-Neck sweater.
It wasn't long after this new cover reissue before the record buying community caught onto this altered version and started peeling off the top sheet to reveal the original image underneath.
As the value climbed and collector interest piqued, techniques were developed for uncovering this hidden treasure and keeping it intact.
Photo credit: The album cover for The Beatles Yesterday And Today
If the album has a Gold Record Award seal on it, it is NOT an original
How to tell if you have a Beatles Butcher Cover
At first, it was hard for me to recognize Ringo's sweater bleed through. But once you know where to look, it comes easier for you. Look carefully and you will see Ringo's black sweater bleed through from the original cover image.
CHECK OUT VIDEO BELOW -
Watch for Ringo's Black Sweater Bleed Through
The Three States of "Yesterday And Today"
There are three different versions of the record album that are known as "States."
1. First State:
The original release with the controversial image is called the "First State." They, of course, are the rarest, hardest to find and the most valuable. (Read about Alan Livingston's Collection below)
2. Second State:
Copies of the album with the paste over "Trunk" image that are unpeeled are referred to as the "Second State." They, too, have become increasingly harder to find and rising in value, especially if it's in its original sealed wrap.
3. Third State:
Then, you have the albums that originally had the paste over, but have been peeled and reveal the "Butcher" photo that are known as the "Third State." The value of these albums depend on how skillfully it was peeled.
Each of these albums were released
in Stereo and Mono
How To Peel The Butcher Album
If your album is a "Second State" and you want to keep it as an investment; my advice is NOT to peel it. But if you're a fan and you want the coveted photo revealed, then here is some help and tutorials on doing it. Keep in mind there are also professional services that will peel the album for you.
How To Peel The Butcher Album
The Butcher album was never on CD.
If you see one, it's a bootleg.
What are the albums worth? - The value differs with the "State" and the "Condition"
My favorite reference book for vinyl values is the Goldmine Record Album Price Guide. It lists all the available "Yesterday And Today" releases with Identifying Number, Title, Year and Value (based on Near Mint condition).
One thing to keep in mind is condition. You've heard the saying in real estate that it's "location, location, location." I can't stress enough that condition is comparable to a grading system; the higher the grade, the higher the value. Also, as it is with everything, - it is worth what someone will pay for it. Meaning, it may value over or below market price depending on timing of the sale and finding the right buyer.
Some guidelines from Goldmine quote the "First State" Stereo issue at around $4000 to $8000 depending on condition; "Second State" Stereo issue at $1000 in Near Mint condition to "Third State" at around $1200 (price depending on the success of the peel). This is just a guideline, as with most memorabilia, it holds a personal value to each individual differently.
Goldmine is an excellent source for record collectors and lists many other Beatles albums along with over 600 pages and 70,000 vinyl LPs with estimated values. There are also articles and info on buying and selling; and ads in the back listing supplies for cleaning, storing, framing and shipping your vinyls.
Learn More About "Yesterday And Today"
The following links will give you more information on the history, value and education for collectors and fans.
- The Beatles' "Butcher" Cover | Follow the Stories | Antiques Roadshow | PBS
A woman brings the Beatles Butcher album cover to the Antiques Roadshow in Chicago in 2003.
- Alan Livingston Butcher covers
It was at the 1986 Beatlefest convention in Los Angeles when it was revealed that the President of Capitol Records in the 60s had brought a box of original still sealed albums home with him.
- Professional Peeling & Restoration For Your Album
A website devoted to the most controversial Rock and Roll album cover of all time. Professional peeling and restoration for the album cover.