By the time the Capitol Records released Yesterday And Today, the Beatles were in hot water in America. The record was released just after John's infamous interview in which he stated that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus" became a hot topic, which angered Americans and provoked bans on their music and public incineration of memorabilia. But Yesterday And Today would take public disapproval to a whole new level, as the original cover featured the band in butcher's smocks with baby doll parts and raw meat covering them. The record was pulled almost immediately - creating an instant collector's item - and in the confusion that followed, several replacement covers were issued. Songs on the album were taken from the leftovers of the British release Rubber Soul as well as the single/B-side Yesterday/Act Naturally (released on the UK version of Help!), the double A-side We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper, and three songs which had not, at that point, been released in the UK: I'm Only Sleeping, Doctor Robert, and And Your Bird Can Sing (which all wound up on the UK version of Revolver). The album was re-released on CD in 2014 in mono and stereo on a single disc in The U.S. Albums box set but featuring reworked EMI masters, and featuring a sticker of the "trunk cover" replacement that replicated the pasteover used on the original vinyl release.
The recall letter
Capitol Records Press & Information Services manager Ron Tepper sent out a letter to reviewers who received the "Butcher Cover" variations:
Unique stereo mixes
Yesterday And Today was originally issued with the original stereo mixes for We Can Work It Out and Day Tripper. Those mixes were made and the tapes destroyed, and new mixes were created for the UK compilation LP A Collection Of Beatles Oldies. Those mixes were used for the compilation Past Masters and the subsequent standardization of the Beatles' catalog in 1987, and the mixes used on Yesterday And Today have not been released officially since.
- Capitol T 2553 (mono), released June 15, 1966 (with butcher cover)
- Capitol ST 2553 (stereo), released June 15, 1966 (with butcher cover)
- Capitol T 2553 (mono), released June 20, 1966 (with trunk cover)
- Capitol ST 2553 (stereo), released June 20, 1966 (with trunk cover)
- Apple B0019708-02 (remastered mono & stereo CD), released January 21, 2014
Original stereo "Butcher" cover
Original mono "Butcher" cover