Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Anatomy of an album cover: "Yesterday ... and Today"

Cross post with Pop '66!





THE MUSIC BEAT ..... ASSOCIATED PRESS INTERNATIONAL ..... JUNE 1966

THE HIGH-RIDING BRITISH BEATLES MAY HAVE HAD A CLOSE CALL WITH ECONOMIC DISASTER...THE LOSS OF POPULARITY IN THE UNITED STATES, WHERE THEY MAKE MOST OF THEIR MONEY.

NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR VOCAL TALENTS...WHICH IS ANOTHER QUESTION.... BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR SAD TASTE IN ALBUM JACKET ART. 

THE NARROW SQUEAK CAME WHEN CAPITOL DISTRIBUTED TO AMERICAN DISK JOCKEYS A NEW BEATLE ALBUM CALLED "YESTERDAY" AND TODAY." 

THE JACKET WAS A BIZARRE, GRISLY PICTURE OF THE BIG-BEAT GROUP WEARING WHITE BUTCHERS' SMOCKS AND SADISTIC GRINS. EACH OF THE SHAGGY-HAIRED BEATLES HELD PARTS OF A DOLL WHOSE HEAD HAD BEEN CUT OFF AND ITS BODY DISMEMBERED. 

IT WAS A GORY SCENE. THE BEATLES APPEARED TO BE AMUSED BY THE CHUNKS OF MEAT AND BONE.

DISK JOCKEYS WHO RECEIVED THE ALBUM...FORTUNATELY BEFORE IT WAS PUT ON SALE...WERE SHOCKED BY THE GROTESQUE JACKET PICTURE AND SOME EVEN REFUSED TO PLAY THE RECORD.

A CAPITOL SPOKESMAN IN CHICAGO SAID THE PROTESTS REACHED "RATHER LOUD" PROPORTIONS NATIONWIDE...AND AT THIS POINT THE RECORD COMPANY STARTED CORRECTING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN A BAD BEATLEMANIA BLOOPER.

A COMPANY SPOKESMAN IN LOS ANGELES HAD THIS TO SAY: "THROUGH A SAMPLING OF PUBLIC OPINION WE DISCOVERED THE ALBUM PICTURE WAS MISINTERPRETED...SO IT HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN IN FAVOR OF A MORE CONVENTIONAL COVER."

THE ALBUM IS THE TENTH THE BEATLES HAVE MADE FOR CAPITOL. THE PREVIOUS NINE RECORDINGS HAVE MADE THE BRITISH GROUP MILLIONAIRES...SELLING MORE THAN 35 MILLION COPIES IN THE UNITED STATES.

CAPITOL SAYS THE GORY ALBUM PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN LONDON AND WAS THE BEATLES' OWN IDEA OF POP ART SATIRE.

OTHERS REGARDED THE ABBATOIR EFFECT AS RESEMBLING HUMAN CARNAGE. THERE IS AN OLD SAYING THAT "YOU CAN'T TELL A BOOK BY ITS COVER"...AND PERHAPS IT MIGHT BE APPLIED TO LONG-PLAYING RECORD ALBUMS. 

BUT MAYBE NOT.





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