Tag Archives: Alternate Album Cover

The Story Of The Beatles Butcher Cover – 1966

The Beatles Choose A Bizarre Photograph For A Controversial Album Cover – 1966

And The Alternate Covers You’ve Never Seen

Beatles Yesterday and Today original LP cover

The Beatles decided to use this photograph for their Yesterday and Today album cover.

The four normally squeaky clean Beatles had dressed in smocks resembling butcher’s garb with dismembered dolls and pieces of meat dripping crimson. It was supposed to be a bit of fun. The Beatles “Butcher cover” ended up a big fiasco.

Maybe today this cover would not even raise an eyebrow. But in 1966 this album cover shocked the music industry.

Billboard Magazine June 25, 1966

‘Salesman of the various Capitol records Distributing Corp’s branches are recuperating from a busy weekend spent stripping the latest Beatles album, “The Beatles Yesterday And Today’.
Some 750,000 albums, which were pressed, packaged and shipped to the factory branches, have been recalled for repackaging. Reason for the recall is the cover art, which shows the Beatles in white smocks surrounded by what appears to be dismembered baby dolls and butcher shop cuts of meat.

According to some reliable reports, none of these albums have reached dealer shelves, although some have been received by reviewers and rack jobbers. Capitol has a new cover printed, showing four nearly neatly dressed Beatles inside and draped around a trunk.

Alan W. Livingstone, president of Capitol Records, explained the cover recall: “The original cover in England was intended as ‘pop art satire’. However, a sampling of public opinion in the United States indicates that the cover design is subject to interpretation. For this reason, and to avoid any possible controversy, or undeserved harm to the Beatles’ image or reputation, Capitol has chosen to withdraw the LP and substitute a more generally acceptable design.

Meanwhile, Capitol is making a painstaking effort to recall the covers to make sure they are destroyed. Reviewers are requested to return the cover to Capitol, and dealers who have received streamers are asked to hold them until a salesman calls.

The butcher cover was and still is one of the most controversial record covers ever produced. So what is the story behind it?

Photographer Robert Whitaker had worked with the Beatles previously so he was no stranger to having them before his lens.

On March 25, 1966 Whitaker took a series of promotional photographs of the Beatles. Instead of the typical boring shoot, Whitaker had the Beatles doing wacky things with props in unconventional poses.

Whitaker posed the band holding sausages. George Harrison had his head placed in a birdcage. Continue reading

The Beatles, Abbey Road Unused Alternate Cover Photos

The Photos The Beatles Didn’t Use For The Cover Of Abbey Road

Abbey Road 01 photo Iain Macmillan 1938-2006

Abbey Road album cover outtake photo – Iain Macmillan

If you are a Beatles fan, and visit London there is a strong chance that if you venture just outside the Abbey Road studios you will find groups of Beatles fans recreating their own version of The Beatles famous walk across the street while someone photographs the scene. The Abbey Road cover is considered to be one of the best and most imitated album covers in rock history.

The photo session took place on August 8, 1969 and photographer Iain Macmillan was given ten minutes to photograph The Beatles. Macmillan perched himself on a ladder in the middle of the street and took only six photographs of the group, one of which became the final album cover.

Here are the other four photos that did not end up being used for the cover. Click on any photo to enlarge.

For The Beatles fan who owns everything you could purchase your own set of the photos, but you would have to spend some big bucks. A set of the five unused photos with one signed by Macmillan was auctioned Continue reading

Outtake Photos Of The Doors 1967 Debut Album Cover

What The First Doors Album Cover Could Have Looked Like

Doors debut album photo session © Joel Brodsky

Doors debut album photo session © Joel Brodsky

Almost every rock fan is familiar with The Doors 1967 eponymous debut album containing the hit songs Light My Fire, Break On Through, Soul Kitchen and The End. The album’s  iconic front and back covers were photographed by Joel Brodsky. The back cover photo was also used for a billboard advertisement; the first album to ever get that treatment on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

As we pointed out in our article about Carole King and her photo session for Tapestry, there are always other photographs from a photo session that the public rarely sees.

In these sessions, photographer Joel Brodsky took many pictures of The Doors that could have ended up on the cover. Some of the photos were later used on album sleeve inserts and on greatest hits collections.

Below are some of the other photographs from these famous sessions. Do you think any of them would have worked better than what was chosen?

Outtake Photos From The Sexiest Album Cover of The 1960’s

Dolores Erickson on Whipped Cream and Other Delights

The cover is the stuff of teenage dreams and yearning of older men to return to their youth.  Innocence and come-hither looks wrapped into one alluring package.

If an album cover ever helped to sell mega amounts of copies, this was it. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, certainly benefited from the album design of  A&M art director Peter Whorf, and model, Dolores Erickson, gracing the cover of Whipped Cream and Other Delights.

The iconic album cover, which is best appreciated in its full 12″ x 12″ vinyl incarnation, can still be found for sale at many thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales for a couple of dollars.

The album released in 1965, went to #1 on the Billboard pop music charts and ended up selling over six million copies over the years.

Was it based on the music? While it is a good album of instrumentals, I am positive that the provocative cover Continue reading

Carole King, Tapestry & The Art Of The Album Cover

The Story Of The Tapestry Photo Shoot And Some Out-takes

One of the best selling albums of all time is Carole King’s Tapestry from 1971. The appealing cover image of Carole King sitting in the living room of her home in Laurel Canyon, CA was taken by rock n’ roll photographer Jim McCrary. An interesting sidenote was that King’s cat Telemachus was moved while sitting on the pillow from across the room by McCrary to be used in the final cover shot.

We identify famous covers and just accept that is the cover. The conclusion is “it’s the right cover!”  In Tapestry’s case, McCrary’s use of the cat definitely helps draw the viewer in.

Tapestry

What if a different cover had been used?

Here are four other photos from The Tapestry shoot

   

March 2 is the premiere of PBS’s “American Masters” which features Carole King in Troubadors: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter.