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    The Beatles Yesterday and Today First State Butcher Cover Stereo LP in Original Shrink Wrap (Capitol ST-2553, 1966). Unbelievably pristine copy of what's arguably the most famous -- or infamous -- single item of all Beatles memorabilia. While not a sealed copy (there is a carefully-made opening on the right side to retrieve the disc), this has its original shrinkwrap on the sleeve. This original cover for the Yesterday and Today album caused such a stir before hitting retail markets that virtually all copies were pulled before the public could purchase one at retail outlets. The album was released in the US in 1966, in-between Rubber Soul and Revolver.

    This was the ninth US release by Capitol Records, June 15th, 1966. The title was based on the inclusion of the hit "Yesterday." As always with Capitol, the album was a mish-mash of songs and has no British counterpart at all: There were tracks from the UK Help!, UK Rubber Soul, both sides of the single "Day Tripper" / "We Can Work it Out" are included, and songs from the Revolver album not yet released. The Beatles resented how their US record company did this, as they always put a lot of thought and effort into the tracks and order on all their UK albums.

    The (in)famous "butcher" photo was taken early in 1966 by Robert Whitaker and actually had a title: "A Somnambulant Adventure." Whether or not it was a Vietnam protest or a protest against Capitol "butchering" their records, the fact is that it became the official album cover. When first seen by DJs and record stores, there was an immediate and negative reaction to its graphic nature. Capitol recalled all the "offensive" albums and, in many cases, glued what's generally called the "Trunk Cover" over it (known as a "second state"). This is how most people have seen it. The original albums that were saved from destruction or the glue-over process, such as this one, are known as being "first state."

    A very limited number of "first state" albums got out and were kept by journalists, radio stations, and record company executives. In 1966, stereo had yet to take over the marketplace (for one thing, they cost more than the mono copies). It has been estimated that mono was produced in a ten to one ration over the stereo version. There were certainly fewer of these that found their way into collections. Again, a much smaller number of these were never removed from their shrink wrap as with this example.

    This copy was produced in Scranton, Pennsylvania on the East Coast. Another way to tell is the word "Stereo" on the label. The 0 is round. On the west coast pressings the 0 is more of an oval shape. The factory number #2 is found on the back bottom right corner. Approximately 60-80 percent of all Beatles records were pressed by Capitol Records at the East Coast pressing plant. Also includes the original inner sleeve dust jacket and a copy of the recall letter. This opportunity does not come around anymore so be sure and add this spectacular example to the collection. Condition: NM / NM (still in original shrink).

    LOA from Perry Cox. LOA from Beatles authority Gary M. Hein of Hein's Rare Collectibles. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    1st-2nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 43
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,548

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