The Beatles "Yesterday and Today" Nicknamed the "Butcher album" in 1966, photographer Robert Whitaker took Beatles studio photos for a conceptual piece: A Somnambulant Adventure. He dressed them in butcher smocks, draped with meat and body parts from plastic dolls. The group played along as they were tired of the usual shoots, then submitted the photos. Capitol president Alan Livingston said Paul McCartney pushed for the photo's inclusion as the album cover, calling it "our comment on the Vietnam War”. The photo was indeed used for the British release of the "Paperback Writer" single and for the cover of the June 1966 British magazine "Disc". And The Beatles Yesterday and Today was released in June 1966 with the controversial cover, quickly criticized by media and distributors. After copies went to disc jockeys, negative reaction was so strong the record was recalled by Capitol's parent company.
The cost to replace the cover was $250,000, wiping out their initial profit. Yet, the album reached #1 on the US Billboard charts by July 1966 and certified gold soon after.The Beatles defended the use of the Butcher photograph. John Lennon said that it was "as relevant as Vietnam" and McCartney said that their critics were "soft". However, George Harrison was quoted as saying that he thought it "was gross". Capitol Records apologized for the offense and ordered all covers destroyed. Instead, Capitol pasted a more conventional cover, and "Trunk" covers were sent out and then the album was released permanently with the Trunk cover. This final version is the album you see here, "Yesterday and Today" Capitol Stereo #ST 2553, issued midway through the evolution of this record, 1966 issue. It is signed by John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr