On February 9th, 1964, I remember sitting in front of our black and white television set, and waiting anxiously to see the LIVE performance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show-along with 73 million other TV viewers around the globe. My sister was in love with John Lennon, and I was in love with Paul McCartney! (I remember dreaming of having a date with Paul, but to my dismay, millions of young female teens were infatuated with him as well, so my chances for meeting with him looked awfully grim.)
The British Invasion had hit the world, and it started with the introduction of the rock group, The Beatles.
Because of the mass worldwide hysteria to purchase Beatles records-and a lot of work by Brian Epstein- stores started cashing in on anything Beatles-related. The huge Beatles promotional merchandise boom began-BEATLEMANIA!
Over 125 Beatles-imaged products were plastered on consumer products. Items, such as hairspray, cologne, talc powder, toys, clothing and accessories; games, vinyl carrying cases, a record player, Bubble Gum trading cards, bathtub soap containers, concert tickets and paper ephemera. Beatles Halloween costumes, school supplies, lunchboxes, and believe it or not-Beatles Ice Cream Bars. The list is endless, and all these items are extremely collectible today.
In this article, I would like to explain the wacky story behind one of the most prized collectibles from the Beatlemania genre: The peculiar 1966 “Butcher” cover from the Beatles LP: The Beatles, Yesterday And Today, and the “Trunk” recovered replacement issue.
The Beatles Yesterday and Today LP
Who would ever have guessed an macabre vinyl record could possibly worth thousands of dollars today?
The values on the Yesterday And Today –Butcher album, depends mostly on it’s sleeve/cover (referred to as First, Second or Third States), several audio factors and condition.
The most valuable and highly sought-after, is the “First State” “Butcher cover with photo by Robert Whitaker.
Originally, the Butcher cover was sent to America’s Capitol records by Brian Epstein (The Beatles manager during the 1960’s); the top cover featured the Beatles wearing butcher coats sitting among dismembered doll parts and butchered meat pieces.
This somewhat controversial cover idea didn’t set well with the President of Capitol Records, Mr. Alan Livingston, so, Mr. Livingston ordered all of the albums recalled and destroyed, or recovered with a different sticker slick, which because known as the “Trunk” cover. The newly pasted slicks placed on top of the original “Butcher” covers, were called “Second State” issues.
The ” Third State” cover is an album with the new photo slick over the butcher cover, but the top slick has been removed from the front to show the “First State” underneath. Some slicks are removed professionally, or unfortunately- haphazardly.
The original extremely rare “First State” Butcher cover can sell for tens -of- thousands of dollars-If found sealed with their original factory shrink-wrap covering.
The “Second State”(unpeeled) newer, pasted-top slick covered albums (easier to find), can sell for over a thousand dollars- if in excellent condition.
How do you know if you have a Second State, “Butcher” cover of the Yesterday And Today LP, if it has been recovered with the new sticker cover?
One tell-tale way is to look under the title word “Today” in the title, about 2 1/4″ down from the letters-ODA. In a room with good light, you would see a small grayish triangle shadow under the white covering, this would be part of Ringo’s black shirt worn under his white butcher coat on the original Butcher cover. If you don’t see it, more than likely you have a later pressed “trunk” cover issue. Also look on the back of the album. At the bottom, by the right-hand corner, you will see the RIAA logo; if there is a number 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 (pressing plant city number) by this logo-you’re lucky, and you have one of the rare, 750,000 Butcher-covered Yesterday And Today LP’s ever produced.
The “Third State” album had a Butcher cover at one time, which was re-covered with the Trunk cover, but was removed to show the original Butcher cover underneath. Its better to leave the LP in it’s unpeeled condition unless professionally removed by experts. These versions are worth around $1,500 if left untouched. If professionally unpeeled, but if its decided to have the top slick professionally removed (cost around $500), and in VG+ condition, the album can sell for over $3,000.
Labels are also important. Even if find this album with the Trunk cover, and its proven to not be a recovered issue, you may have a collectible 1966 PROMO version of the LP; or a collectible-1966 black label featuring a rainbow symbol with a ST-2553 catalog code. These records can sell for a couple of hundred dollars (VG+ condition). Don’t forget the condition to the vinyl record itself, is just as important when identifying its value.
For more information on identifying tips for the Beatles, Yesterday and Today album cover, check out the web page: http://www.rarebeatles.com/album2/discog/discog.htm
Remember, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”-John Lennon