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Helter Skelter > Alternate Album Covers

Alternate Album Covers

Several Beatles album covers came out slightly different than originally planned. A number of album covers were designed but never used, while still others were actually scrapped in the middle of printing. Here are a few of the unused album covers, along with the story behind them.

Yesterday And Today Alternate Cover

Yesterday And Today

1966

Capitol Records in America had a number of Beatles songs which were not on any other American album, and so they were collected for one album to be titled Yesterday And Today. A photo from a Robert Whitaker session prodced the cover photo, and a small number of copies were pressed and shipped out. Almost immediately, Capitol received numerous complaints and stores refused to stock the album. The photo was of the Beatles with chunks of meat and parts of baby dolls surrounding them while they sat dressed in butcher smocks. Capitol quickly issued an apology letter and pasted over the already-printed sleeves with a picture of the band sitting around a trunk.

 

Yesterday And Today Alternate Cover

Yesterday And Today

1966

The "trunk cover" pasteover for the Yesterday And Today album was in midpress when it was decided that the purple border and background would be airbrushed out. Several other versions exist, (done by Queens Litho, a design firm that produced many of Capitol's album covers during that time period), including a blue version.

 

The White Album Alternate Cover

The Beatles

1968

According to pre-press plans for "The White Album", The Beatles was to be anything but white. Paul had wanted to include an elaborate booklet, which became the lyric poster and photos idea. Also, the album was recorded partly under the working title "A Doll's House". A proposed idea cover, shown here, is similar to the final result. This is the front of a gatefold cover, the back of which was an illustration of the Beatles' faces in a mountainside overlooking a sea.

 

Let It Be Alternate Cover

Let It Be

1970

In the mindset that it was to be their final album, it was decided that the cover for Let It Be (then titled "Get Back") should be similar to their first album, Please Please Me, as a way to "get back" and close their careers. Ultimately, the cover was unused, and they went on to record Abbey Road with the intention of leaving the Let It Be album on the shelf forever. After the band had broken up Phil Spector was given the tapes by John and Allen Klein to rework.

 

Beatles Again Alternate Cover

Beatles Again

1970

After repackaging the Beatles music for the first half of their recording career, Capitol Records still had a number of songs that had not been issued on an album. Whereas the original albums issued by Parlophone in Britain had 14 songs each, Capitol (for some reason; it has never really been determined why) refused to issue an LP of 14 songs, instead issuing 12 song albums and completely changing the original releases, as well as putting out new albums (in America only) that didn't exist, in order to use the "leftover" songs. Beatles Again was to be a record in that same vein, although many of the songs were only released as singles. Several covers were designed, although ultimately none would be used.

 

Hey Jude Alternate Cover

Hey Jude

1970

A small number of copies of Beatles Again were pressed before the title was changed to Hey Jude, and in some cases the sleeves of the album read "Hey Jude" and the disc itself read "Beatles Again". Actually, the two names bore different catalog numbers, so Beatles Again is an album that never was...but was. The track lists were the same and the covers were identical. Shown here is an unused cover idea.

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