Famous Beatles ‘Butcher’ Album Cover Sells For $2500 On Ebay
When we made our list of the 10 Most Shocking Album Covers recently, it was an automatic that the infamous Beatles ‘Butcher’ cover would make the cut (oops, possible intended pun there). The memorable album cover is a prized collector piece that pops up from time to time and one of them just sold recently for $2500 on eBay.
Looking at the photo, which features the members of the Beatles posing with a whole bunch of meat and also, um, (fake) decapitated babies, it’s evident that shooting the pictures for the original cover for ‘Yesterday and Today’ was probably a really fun photo session.
There are a ton of stories, depending on who you ask, as to the reasoning behind the cover idea. Rumors at the time suggested that it was a poke at their U.S. label, Capitol Records, a visual commentary on the “butchering” of the U.S. versions of their albums, in which tracks were constantly being removed, with each album’s running order often altered as well.
John Lennon said that the cover was inspired by “boredom and resentment at having to do another photo session and another Beatles thing. We were sick to death of it.” Photographer Robert Whitaker says the album cover was a satirical statement regarding the Beatles’ level of fame at the time.
Whatever the real story is, Capitol Records printed a ton of the album covers and then decided at the last moment to pull the cover and replace it with an amended, more sanitary cover, simply pasted over the original. Problem is, the move happened after a number of the aborted covers had already slipped out.
Hence, the value of the ones which survive today – supposedly, one sold for $85,000, with $4000 to $15,000 being closer to the normal sale price, depending on condition.
The one that went for $2,500 was a stereo copy, rare in comparison to the more common mono version, and was listed as being in very good condition, with the seller labeling it “the rarest and most desirable record in existence.”
The ‘Butcher’ cover definitely has one of the better stories attached to any album cover that we’ve seen. You can take a look at the rest of the albums on our 10 Most Shocking Album Covers for other examples of records that people probably had to hide from their parents.