Even more rare than The Beatles "Butcher Block" cover!
This is the tale of a very rare and little known Beatles album cover...
It seemed that 1966 was almost a bad year to be The Beatles. Especially after the "glory years of Beatlemania from 1963-65 where they could seem to do no wrong. But 1966 was different. First was their "imprisonment" in the Tokyo hotel during their Japanese concerts; then there was the Manila debacle; finally there was John's "bigger than Jesus" statement. No wonder they called the end to touring after the 1966 tour. If this wasn't bad enough, their album "artwork" was even coming under fire!
Part of the story is well known to Beatles-fanatics. In June of 1966 Capitol Records created yet another "new" Beatles album by assembling various leftover tracks. The record was called "Yesterday And Today". But what was different from other Beatles' albums was the record cover itself, showing the fab four dressed in butchers' smocks, complete with slabs of raw meat and decapitated dolls. Capitol quickly withdrew the record when they started getting complaints from those who had received advance copies. Thus was created the "holy grail" of Beatles collectibles: the "butcher cover".
However, the story doesn't end there.
It is a little known fact that the "butcher" cover was part of a series of the "food pyramid" themed photos in which the Beatles would tout: fruits & vegetables, breads, dairy products and meat (the "butcher" cover was the only cover that actually almost hit the market). This was a marketing scheme by Capitol in the attempt to sell numerous copies of the same album - in the hope that fans would want all four covers. Photographer Robert Whitaker took the themed photos and so far only those of the "butcher" cover have seen the light of day.
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