Yesterday ...and Today
Yesterday and Today was the tenth US LP release of Beatles songs by Capitol records. It went on sale on June 15, 1966 and contained a number of tracks previously included on Parlophone LP's in the UK. It went platinum in the US (2x) and in Canada, reaching number one in the charts. The original version of the album title included punctuation: "Yesterday" . . . and Today. This made it evident that Yesterday, one of the most oft-played songs in modern times, was included in the record.
The most memorable aspect of this album was the tumult caused by the photo on the album cover as it originally came out. Nicknamed the "Butcher Cover," it showed the Fab Four in white butcher garb, holding cuts of meat and dismembered toy dolls. In defense of the black humor that many felt crossed the border into bad taste, McCartney later said, "It was our comment on the war [in Vietnam]." Public reaction was strong, negative and immediate. Capitol recalled the album and reprinted the cover with a more benign photo. Only a few of the "butcher cover" albums were actually sold, making them highly prized by collectors. The controversy and the expensive remedy required of Capitol caused the record to lose money for the label, even though it sold over 2,000,000 copies.
The tracks included on Yesterday and Today came from the UK versions of (1) Help! (Yesterday and Act Naturally); (2) Rubber Soul (Nowhere Man, What Goes On, Drive My Car and If I Needed Someone); (3) Revolver (I'm Only Sleeping, Doctor Robert, And Your Bird Can Sing); and the single release of Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out. The Revolver album had been produced but not yet released in the UK when Yesterday and Today went on sale in the US and Canada.
The Beatles themselves, and many of their fans, were annoyed by Capitol's practice of slicing up UK albums to make different sequences in the US. Considerable thought had gone into the selection and ordering of songs for the Parlophone albums, all of which was ignored by those producing for the North American market. By this time the group had acquired considerable leverage over the record publishers, and was able to make its opinion stick. After Yesterday and Today, Capitol respected the UK track listings in its subsequent Beatles LP's.
|Side A||Lead Vocals||Written by||Length|
|Drive My Car||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:30|
|I'm Only Sleeping||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:01|
|And Your Bird Can Sing||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||2:01|
|If I Needed Someone||Harrison||George Harrison||2:24|
|We Can Work It Out||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:15|
|What Goes On||Starr||Lennon/McCartney/Starkey||2:51|