Offered for sale is an exceptionally nice stereo copy of a third state (peeled) Butcher cover pressing of the 1966 LP Yesterday and Today by the Beatles.
About this copy: The copy of Yesterday and Today offered for sale is an original 1966 stereo third state Butcher cover. The trunk cover has been removed, and while this one was not professionally peeled, whoever did it did a better than average job.
Stereo copies are much rarer than their mono counterparts; only about one in ten Butcher covers are stereo, and first state stereo Butcher covers have sold for as much as $75,000.
This particular copy was pressed at the Los Angeles pressing plant, as noted by the small number 5 in the lower right hand corner of the back cover.
This cover has:
- No seam splits
- Fully legible writing on the spine
- Very faint ring wear on the back cover
- No writing on the front or back cover
While this is an exceptionally nice peel, there are two very tiny pieces missing from the front cover slick. The largest of the two is a triangular area about 1/4″ on a side along the left hand edge. Another much smaller missing piece is near the top right hand corner.
The record is VG, with a few marks and some sleeve scuffs. The original orange inner sleeve is included.
This is a particularly nice example of a stereo Butcher cover and comes from our own collection.
Background: There are millions of records that people could possibly collect, but few are as infamous as the original release of Yesterday and Today by the Beatles, which was first released with the cover now known as the “Butcher cover.” This cover photo depicted the band dressed in butcher smocks, surrounded by plastic doll parts and pieces of raw meat. When the original cover met with hostile responses from reviewers and distributors, Capitol Records made the decision to withdraw the cover and replace it with another one.
While a few copies with the original cover were kept by reviewers, the remaining copies were returned to Capitol Records prior to the album’s scheduled release date. Capitol then pasted a new cover over the existing one, put new shrinkwrap on the cover, and shipped the records with the “pasteover” cover to record distributors.
Most copies sold around the time of the album’s release date actually had two covers, with a cover showing the band standing around a steamer trunk pasted over the original “Butcher cover” photo. Over time, many of these copies have had the top cover removed, rendering original copies increasingly scarce as fewer intact examples remain.
Copies of Yesterday and Today with the original cover that have never had the second cover pasted over them are known as “first state” issues. Copies that have the second cover still pasted on top of the first one are known as “second state” copies. Second state copies are identifiable by looking at the white area on the cover just below the word “today” in the album title. If that particular copy is a second state Butcher cover, a black triangular area can be faintly seen; this area is where Ringo’s black shirt collar appears on the cover underneath.
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