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The butcher cover
18 January 2015
7.45pm
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parlance
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I'm listening to "Breakfast with the Beatles," leading to a question I have about the butcher cover for Yesterday and Today, shot by Robert Whitaker on March 25, 1966.

Today is an annual tribute to Dierdre O'Donoghue, who started the show in 1983 and passed away in 2001. So they're playing some of her old intros/breaks, and during one, she mentioned that the story behind the butcher cover is that the Beatles were angry about the way their albums were reconfigured in the US, so the photo shoot became their statement about their albums being "butchered."

This is the first time I've heard this story, as I thought it was just Whitaker being artsy, which seems to be Wikipedia's take as well. All I could find on the board about it was this exchange

I figure the butcher cover deserves its own topic in general, so here we go. Any thoughts? 

parlance

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18 January 2015
9.05pm
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Ron Nasty
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The suggestion that it was a comment on their feelings about Capitol's treatment of their catalogue was certainly a widespread at one time. I certainly came across it many times when first reading about The Beatles in the '80s. I think that one of the main reasons for it was an attempt to understand what, even all these years later, is a shocking album cover.

There was no explanation of the photo shoot until Whitaker spoke about it at length in 1991, and so people came up with theories that might explain the reasons behind the picture, and that was one that seemed to make sense and so was widely adopted for a time.

It's one of those stories about them that were common currency until being discarded when evidence became available that contradicted the story.

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19 January 2015
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 The result of the 1966 Butcher Cover forced Capitol to no longer make different LPs from the UK versions, starting with Sgt. Pepper , (with 1 exception).  The US did not believe in making EP's therefore they took the Magical Mystery Tour EP and just added all the singles that came out that year to make it a full Album.

Neat Album cover, I've got one!  Unfortunately these day's it costs too much to acquire one.

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19 January 2015
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Thanks for responding, Ron and Bongo. One of my bosses managed to get a beat-up-looking 3rd state one for not much. But you probably can't even find one of those nowadays.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

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19 January 2015
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Tons on Ebay, just usually $500 and up!!!!!

http://www.ebay.ca/sch/i.html?.....8;_sacat=0

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19 January 2015
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parlance
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Not only expensive, but hard to tell what's real. I was just reading in an FAQ that people try to pass off even counterfeit 3rd states as authentic.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at Vimeo or YouTube.

20 January 2015
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@Bongo said
The result of the 1966 Butcher Cover forced Capitol to no longer make different LPs from the UK versions...

This is actually incorrect. It was The Beatles new contract with EMI, dated 26 January 1967, which ended Capitol's ability to release anything not approved of by The Beatles. By the time of the contract renegotiation, they were powerful enough to dictate terms that were not present in the standard EMI contract dated 4 June 1962. They used the opportunity to comprehensively end Capitol's ability to "butcher" their albums in Section 17 of the new contract.

17. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING anything herein contained EMIR shall during the currency of this Agreement:

(i) agree with the Managers or the Artists the material recorded under this Agreement which is approved for release and the couplings thereof and such couplings shall not be changed in the United Kingdom U.S.A. Canada and Mexico without the prior consent of the Manager or the Artists. EMIR shall issue or cause to be issued in the United Kingdom material agreed hereunder; EMIR shall not issue or cause to be issued in the United Kingdom material recorded under this Agreement unless it has been so agreed

This ended Capitol's ability to alter the tracklisting of any Beatles release in any way without their agreement.

(ii) agree with the Managers or the Artists the release date of new recordings in and for the United Kingdom and shall use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that no other territory shall release records of such recordings before the United Kingdom release date

This ended Capitol's ability to pull tracks from ongoing recording sessions before the sessions were finished.

(iii) agree with the Managers or the Artists cover designs for album sleeves for use in the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. ...

And this ended Capitol's ability to create their own covers.

They comprehensively stuffed Capitol's ability to continue creating their own releases with these clauses.

Capitol's Magical Mystery Tour  album was agreed to because The Beatles were well aware that EPs had never really taken off in the States, but - unlike earlier US releases - they had the final say on the tracklisting and artwork.

Permission for The Beatles Again (Hey Jude was granted as part of Allen Klein's renegotiation of their US royalty rates, with all aspects of it again needing their agreement, and with the condition it would not be released in the UK.

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19 March 2016
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50th Anniversary this month...

I also heard that they were tired of their wholesome cutesy image - especially with the Stones taking tough-black leather mantle from them.

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20 March 2016
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Ronnie O\

@Bongo said
The result of the 1966 Butcher Cover forced Capitol to no longer make different LPs from the UK versions...

This is actually incorrect. It was The Beatles new contract with EMI, dated 26 January 1967, which ended Capitol's ability to release anything not approved of by The Beatles. By the time of the contract renegotiation, they were powerful enough to dictate terms that were not present in the standard EMI contract dated 4 June 1962. They used the opportunity to comprehensively end Capitol's ability to "butcher" their albums in Section 17 of the new contract.

17. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING anything herein contained EMIR shall during the currency of this Agreement:

(i) agree with the Managers or the Artists the material recorded under this Agreement which is approved for release and the couplings thereof and such couplings shall not be changed in the United Kingdom U.S.A. Canada and Mexico without the prior consent of the Manager or the Artists. EMIR shall issue or cause to be issued in the United Kingdom material agreed hereunder; EMIR shall not issue or cause to be issued in the United Kingdom material recorded under this Agreement unless it has been so agreed

This ended Capitol's ability to alter the tracklisting of any Beatles release in any way without their agreement.

(ii) agree with the Managers or the Artists the release date of new recordings in and for the United Kingdom and shall use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that no other territory shall release records of such recordings before the United Kingdom release date

This ended Capitol's ability to pull tracks from ongoing recording sessions before the sessions were finished.

(iii) agree with the Managers or the Artists cover designs for album sleeves for use in the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. ...

And this ended Capitol's ability to create their own covers.

They comprehensively stuffed Capitol's ability to continue creating their own releases with these clauses.

Capitol's Magical Mystery Tour  album was agreed to because The Beatles were well aware that EPs had never really taken off in the States, but - unlike earlier US releases - they had the final say on the tracklisting and artwork.

Permission for The Beatles Again (Hey Jude was granted as part of Allen Klein's renegotiation of their US royalty rates, with all aspects of it again needing their agreement, and with the condition it would not be released in the UK.

 

I still would like to know what kind of royalties they got when Allen Klein renegotiated - I saw the contract but it's a bit too long for me to get through and at one point on a previous contract I read up to the royalty percentage and it was marked out 

 

It's nice to know they had a say in the Capitol Record's release of Magical Mystery Tour  . . it seems that's the version that endures in their official catalog as it's the version that was released in the box set reissue/remaster . . I also think it could potentially be their best album 

20 March 2016
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Don.W said

It's nice to know they had a say in the Capitol Record's release of Magical Mystery Tour  . . it seems that's the version that endures in their official catalog as it's the version that was released in the box set reissue/remaster . . I also think it could potentially be their best album 

The people of the U.K. spoke.  Many fans had the LP imported into the UK, so much so that apple01 finally made it official catalogue in 1976.  I think Capitol finally got a Beatles LP right by taking all those 1967 singles and the MMT EP,  and even kept the MMT album cover!!!!!  I couldn’t imagine, people in the UK had to put on the 3 individual singles and the double EP on their turntable, or just get the Import and make it much easier.

1967 was an awesome year for Beatles fans with Sgt. Pepper & MMT  george-martin 

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20 March 2016
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Bongo said

 I think Capitol finally got a Beatles LP right by taking all those 1967 singles and the MMT EP,  and even kept the MMT album cover!!!!!  

That's not quite right, the original EP cover was like this: 

beatles-magical-mystery-tour-ep-cover-7821.jpgImage Enlarger

The Capitol album added the orange outside part and the song titles. 

They're both equally tacky, though. a-hard-days-night-george-10

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20 March 2016
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Silly Girl said

Bongo said

 I think Capitol finally got a Beatles LP right by taking all those 1967 singles and the MMT EP,  and even kept the MMT album cover!!!!!  

That's not quite right, the original EP cover was like this: 

beatles-magical-mystery-tour-ep-cover-7821.jpgImage Enlarger

The Capitol album added the orange outside part and the song titles. 

They're both equally tacky, though. a-hard-days-night-george-10

Yes indeed, but do we love them any less?

Image Enlarger

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20 March 2016
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I find it strange how there is no image of the butcher cover in the thread about the butcher cover. I shall fix this.

 

Image Enlarger

and the changed cover

Image Enlarger

 

The Beatles look happier in the butcher cover.

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20 March 2016
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Silly Girl said

Bongo said

 I think Capitol finally got a Beatles LP right by taking all those 1967 singles and the MMT EP,  and even kept the MMT album cover!!!!!  

That's not quite right, the original EP cover was like this: 

beatles-magical-mystery-tour-ep-cover-7821.jpgImage Enlarger

The Capitol album added the orange outside part and the song titles. 

They're both equally tacky, though. a-hard-days-night-george-10

Yes they added a boarder around the original EP @Silly Girl, but it is still the exact cover, including all the songs, unlike all the other Capitol LPs like "The Butcher album", that changed the covers, the name of the album, and even changed the songs.   a-hard-days-night-ringo-8

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20 March 2016
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It should be added that the images from the photo session were first printed in the Disc and Music Echo

disc13s.jpgImage Enlarger

and soon after used to promote the 'Paperback Writer ' single.

paperbackwriter.jpgImage Enlarger

'Yesterday and Today' came very shortly after.

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20 March 2016
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Also should be noted that “apparently” there was only 1 Canadian Capitol Butcher Album, owned by Paul White the Capitol Canada Rep., but with the possibility of another??????

http://www.capitol6000.com/butcher.html

http://www.rarebeatles.com/alb.....pwhite.htm

https://www.facebook.com/perma.....0490562917

http://www.jasonpress.com/cbutch.htm

Here’s one you can buy cheap on Ebay (for now) http://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-BE.....1400810130

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20 March 2016
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Starr Shine? said
I find it strange how there is no image of the butcher cover in the thread about the butcher cover. I shall fix this.

 

Image Enlarger

and the changed cover

Image Enlarger

 

The Beatles look happier in the butcher cover.

That last (with the trunk) is a Paul is Dead clue! Tilt it on its side = coffin. Cracks me up, one of the sillier ones.

I agree, though, they look so HAPPY with all that meat and baby doll bits strewn about.

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20 March 2016
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I really didn't know much about this except the common myth about the Capitol records thing.. However, I came across this:

http://www.thebutchercover.com/FAQ.html

I was really impressed with the "professional butcher peelers" thingy a-hard-days-night-john-6

 

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20 March 2016
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The Hippie Chick said

Starr Shine? said
I find it strange how there is no image of the butcher cover in the thread about the butcher cover. I shall fix this.

 

Image Enlarger

and the changed cover

Image Enlarger

 

The Beatles look happier in the butcher cover.

That last (with the trunk) is a Paul is Dead clue! Tilt it on its side = coffin. Cracks me up, one of the sillier ones.

I agree, though, they look so HAPPY with all that meat and baby doll bits strewn about.

The "Butcher" cover is also a rumoured clue in the "PiD" story. Though photographed before either of the two suggested dates Paul might have become deaded on, this is supposedly The Beatles and Faul reinacting the loser's party after their "Paul is Dead! We Need a Faul! Could that Faul be You!" competition advertised in the classified ads in Melody Maker. They had to make sure not a rejected Faul survived the 1966/67 massacre of jobbing Paul-lookalikelys. Now nobody would know the truth unless they were silly enough to sprinkle their albums with clues...

a-hard-days-night-ringo-6a-hard-days-night-george-10

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20 March 2016
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Not to mention the decapitated dolly on Paul's shoulder, and he's covering up his teeth with his lips as he smiles...

Off track. Sorry. LOL!!!

Back on the actual subject, I think my mom has a second state butcher. I have been afraid to check it though because I don't want to wreck it. Is there a definitive way of telling if this is indeed a second state ("trunk" cover pasted on) ?

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