Beatles Records - Special extract from the book



Special extract from the book „The Anthology of The Beatles Records“

From all LP records listed in our book we decided to publish this note about „Yesterday and today“ for public viewing. There are many beatles records with an interesting story waiting to be told, but probably none of them being as special as this one.

15. YESTERDAY AND TODAY - (and the story of the “Butcher Cover” )

There are several theories why the Beatles appeared in this guise on the front cover.
According to one, the story goes that by doing this the Beatles found a way of protesting against “Capitol Records” who minced or shredded (like butchers) the group’s British albums. The author of the shocking photograph himself was Robert Whittaker and he called his work “Pop Art”.

The second theory runs along the lines that, whilst preparing for the release of the album, “Capitol Records” decided, to put it mildly, to “originalise” and release 750,000 copies of “Yesterday ... And Today” with a very interesting photograph on the front cover of the album on which “The Beatles” are shown as butchers holding pieces of meat in their hands and body parts taken from children’s dolls. (Butcher Cover) and, although it is well documented that the Beatles themselves enjoyed a joke and liked to be original, the cover of the record seemed to backfire.
To be more precise, it shocked many who wanted to acquire the album. And it was not just among music lovers - but also the powers that be - that there was a huge desire to do something urgently. Generally speaking, the cover bearing this photograph was banned, and the album was urgently withdrawn from sale so that the cover could be redesigned in a matter of days. And, as if to prove the point, it can be pointed out that on 15 June 1966 “Yesterday ... And Today” appeared on sale featuring this very photograph with all its shock value, but by as early as on 20 June 1966 it appeared with a new cover design showing the Beatles sitting on, and standing by, a large upturned trunk. (known as the trunk cover ) The album turned out to be a loss-maker for the company since in addition to the work to change the cover, they also had to change all the promotional material about the launch of the album. However, it should be added that even by 8 July 1966, i.e. less than one month later, “Yesterday ... And Today” achieved the status of a “Golden Disc”.

By the way, not all the covers sporting the original photograph were destroyed; in many cases a new photograph was simply pasted over the top of the old one. Such records of “Yesterday ... And Today” with covers bearing photographs pasted over the top can today fetch several hundred dollars. Although some collectors of these records are prepared to pay tens of thousands of dollars for records that were sold during those few days – i.e. from 15 June 1966 to 20 June 1966 - i.e. for ones that did not end up being recalled and did not have their covers changed for another design, and neither did they have a new photograph pasted over the top – proded the records have beautifully preserved covers and show the familiar butchers (the Beatles) and come from the first pressing. Interested? I would also like to say a little bit more about the first, rare cover of “Yesterday ... And Today” - the so-called “Butcher Cover”. First of all, because more and more people are starting to engage in the collection of vinyl recordings of the Beatles, so much so that it is even possible to talk of a “new wave of Beatlemania”, and secondly because the “Butcher Cover” is a veritable jewel for any collector. In fact you could write a complete book just about the story of the cover of the album “Yesterday ... And Today”, but I simply wanted you to get an idea of the feeling a collector would have if he /she were to have such a rarity in his or her collection.

Over a period of many years, there have been a small number of unusual discoveries surrounding the collection of recordings by the Fab Four, with probably the most important discovery happening in 1986 when 24 “ first state Butcher covers” of the album “Yesterday ... And Today” which had not been reprinted were discovered. Up until this time the existence of just 2 non-reprinted copies of “Yesterday ... And Today” in STEREO and about 6 MONO copies were known about. It all happened during Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, where the Beatlefest convention was under way. On this day Peter Livingston, son of Alan Livingston, former President of Capitol Records in the 1960s (and he was also the man who secured the Beatles for Capitol Records) went into the room of one of the dealers carrying 4 non-reprinted records of “Yesterday ... And Today” in his hands: 2 mono and 2 stereo versions. In actual fact, the dealers were not initially able to believe that this discovery was authentic. Just one week later, he offered his find for $2,000 for a mono copy and $10,000 for a stereo one.

Let us now return to 1966 when the original version of the cover of “Yesterday ... And Today” was released. On the photo below you can see a copy of the “Butcher Recall Letter”, sent to Ron Tepper (manager of “Capitol Records” in the press and information department) at “Capitol Records” to stop the supply and to recall the “Butcher cover” from the LP and to replace it with the new version of the LP with the “trunk cover”. At this time, Alan Livingston, probably through a sixth sense, had fully understood the value of the “opal” cover and took home the whole box of “Butcher Cover” records - 4 stereo and about 20 mono ones – from those copies which had yet to be packaged with new jackets. From this time onwards, his son, Peter, placed the records away - locked in a cupboard and stored under ideal conditions - never again to be touched, where they would not attract the world’s attention. To avoid any further doubts and arguments about their authenticity, Peter obtained a number of notarially certified copies from his father attesting the authenticity of the records.
A few months later, under pressure from collectors, Peter gradually sold his remaining mono copies since by this time the price had gone up to 3000 dollars per copy. At this time one particular collector from Santa Monica (California) traded with Peter the minute he returned home and Peter accidentally let him have a stereo copy for the price of a mono version. This collector did not tell Peter and soon sold the stereo copy - he soon sold it for $15,000 to a Japanese collector.
As time went by, the collection of the recordings of the Beatles gained in popularity and after just a few years the price for a mono copy from the Livingston collection (so-called “Livingston copies”) reached $5000. Stereo copies did not change hands for a long time until the start of the 1990s when one collector from Washington (USA) managed to get a stereo copy for $20,000 (!) in cash. This was a record price for the disc. This was not only one of the 3 stereo copies from the Livingston collection, this was as good as a 100% copy, as if it had just come off the factory floor. In 1994, this copy was resold for $25,000 and is now to be found in California at the home of one of the collectors, who is extremely proud of his acquisition and does not want to swap it for anything. At the present time, Livingston family retain 2 mono copies of the “Butcher cover”.

Over the next few years, some copies which had never belonged to the Livingston family changed owners. At the present time these “Livingston issues” are deemed to be especially valuable, not only thanks to their first class condition but also because they had belonged to the former president of “Capitol Records”. The most recent sale of a mono copy was in 1996. The price of this copy stood at $7,000. To compare the prices let us say that the first non-repackaged “Butcher cover” of the album was sold at auction in 1974 by veteran vinyl records collector Jerry Osborne, among thousands of other records. Collector Mitch McGeary won the auction at the time, having paid a full $456 (!). Some years later the record was re-sold for $800.
In recent years, information about the sale of the “Livingston copies” has not come to light. A beautifully preserved (99% mint) non-Livingston mono variant was sold in August 1997 for $5,500. A full 3 years later this copy was resold at double the price. At the present time, the market value for the 24 “Livingston copies” is $300,000 (!!!) Just imagine!? This is almost like a detective story.

  As already mentioned above, “Yesterday ... And Today” contains songs from the following British LP records: 1. “Help!”(1965): “Act Naturally” and “Yesterday”; 2. “Rubber Soul” (1965): “Drive My Car”, “If I Needed Someone”, “Nowhere Man”, “What Goes On”, and “Revolver”. (1966): “And Your Bird Can Sing”, “Dr. Robert” and “I’m Only Sleeping”, i.e. precisely those songs which were not featured on the American versions of these notable British records. Plus, two songs from the single “We Can Work It Out”/”Day Tripper” (see page . ). By the way, the album “Revolver” containing the above-mentioned songs was released in Great Britain just two months later on 5 August 1966.

In addition, on the mono version of the album “Yesterday...and Today”, all three songs from the album “Revolver” are early mixes that differ from the original (British) versions of the same name.
As far as stereo versions of the album are concerned, here on the first releases these three songs were remastered from mono versions (fake-stereo). In later stereo releases of this album, these stereo mixes of the songs “And Your Bird Can Sing”, “Dr. Robert” and “I’m Only Sleeping” were already to be featured. The latter of these songs - “I’m Only Sleeping” - is different from the mix of the same name taken from the British album “Revolver”.

(the storys content is slightly adjusted for web viewing)





 A few small notes about Capitol Records, dictionary extracts from Wikipedia*:

Capitol Records & The Beatles:

After initial resistance to issuing records by The Beatles who were signed to sister EMI label Parlophone, Capitol exercised its option in November 1963 and helped usher in Beatlemania in 1964. (The Beatles' earliest US issues had been on the small Vee-Jay label.) Capitol's producers significantly altered the content of the Beatles albums (see "Record Altering", below.), and, believing the Beatles' recordings were sonically unsuited to the US market, added equalization to brighten the sound, and also piped the recordings through the famous Capitol echo chamber, located underneath the parking lots outside the Capitol Tower. 

Record Altering: Capitol Records has been criticised many times for the heavy modification of albums being sold by Capitol in the USA which had been released in other countries beforehand. Possibly most infamous is Capitol's creation of "new" albums by The Beatles. This began with Capitol Records release of Meet the Beatles!, the first album by the group to be released by Capitol Records in the USA. This trend continued through the Beatles' American discography, until the records had little relation to their original British counterparts.
The Beatles' records were finally released unmodified starting with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This was thanks to a renegotiation of the Beatles' complicated management and recording contracts.


Capitol Records

is a major United States-based record label owned by EMI and located in Hollywood, California and New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Capitol's parent EMI is one of the "big four" music companies, the others being Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music.
The Capitol Records Company was founded by songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1942, with the financial help of movie producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs (1910-1971), owner of Music City, at the time the biggest record store in Los Angeles, California. Wallichs Music City records store opened in 1940 and was located in Hollywood on the corner of Sunset and Vine. It was the premier music store in Southern California for decades but closed in 1978.
Johnny Mercer first suggested the idea of starting a record company while he was golfing with Harold Arlen and Bobby Sherwood. He told them, "I’ve got this idea of starting a record company...Bing Crosby isn’t the only one who can make records...“  By 1941, Mercer was not only an experienced songwriter, but a singer with a number of records to his name. 

On February 2, 1942, they met with Buddy DeSylva at a Hollywood restaurant to ask if Paramount Pictures would invest in the new record company. DeSylva said no, but that he would, and he gave them a check for $15,000. On March 27 the three men got a statement notarized that they have applied to incorporate Liberty Records. In May they amend the application to change the name to Capitol Records.

On June 4, Capitol Records opened its first office in a second-floor room south of Sunset Boulevard. On the same day, Wallichs presented the first free record to a Los Angeles disc jockey named Peter Potter. Potter was so pleased Wallichs decided to give free records to other DJs, becoming the first in the business to do so.

On July 1, Capitol Records released its first nine records.
By 1946, Capitol had sold 42 million records and was established as one of the Big Six record labels.
In 1955, the British record company EMI acquired 96% of Capitol Records stock for $8.5 million.
EMI's classical Angel Records label was merged into Capitol Records in 1957.

In the seventies, Capitol Records launched two alternative labels: EMI America Records and EMI Manhattan Records.
In 2001, EMI merged Capitol Records label with the Priority Records label. 
In 2007, they were able to strike up a distribution deal with The Game's The Black Wall Street Records and have signed former Bad Boy Records star Faith Evans. Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def Recordings label were briefly signed on to the label as a result of the Virgin Records merger. Dupri was the head of urban music for the label.
In February 2007, EMI announced a merger of Virgin Records and Capitol Records into the Capitol Music Group, as part of a restructuring.

*This article "Capitol Records" is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Records