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Yesterday and Today is a studio album by the Beatles, their ninth album released on Capitol Records and eleventh overall American release. It was originally issued only in the United States and Canada. In the 1970s it was issued in Japan. A later UK release (on Compact Disc) followed in 2014. The album is remembered primarily for the controversy surrounding its original cover image, the "butcher cover" featuring the band dressed in white smocks and covered with decapitated baby dolls and pieces of meat. The album's title is based on the song "Yesterday". Early album cover proofs show the word "Yesterday" in quotes.
Both Tim Riley and American Songwriter journalist Jim Beviglia classified Yesterday and Today as a compilation album, and MusicRadar said it was one in a series of "hit-filled compilation albums" that the American Capitol label "sliced and diced" from the Beatles' original British albums.
Yesterday and Today included tracks from the Beatles' two most recent British LPs which had not yet been included on American albums, plus three from their upcoming LP in the United Kingdom, plus two songs which were back-to-back on a single. The hodge-podge nature in which Capitol Records compiled their albums irritated the group, who felt they had "put a lot of work into the sequencing" of the British albums.
Released on 20 June 1966, the Yesterday and Today album's controversial cover marked the first time the Beatles' judgement was criticized by the media and distributors. After advance copies were sent to disc jockeys and record reviewers, negative reaction to the cover photo was so strong Capitol recalled 750,000 copies from distributors to replace the cover. The total cost to Capitol to replace the cover and promotional materials was $250,000, wiping out their initial profit. Nevertheless, the album reached #1 on the US Billboard charts by 30 July 1966 and certified gold soon after. It stayed at number one for five weeks.
"As for the album itself, Capitol assembled four songs that had been removed from the British version of Rubber Soul, the singles 'Yesterday,' 'We Can Work It Out,' and 'Day Tripper,' a pair of B-sides, and offered a 'preview' of the upcoming Revolver album (released seven weeks later) in the form of 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and 'Doctor Robert' (neither one in its final mix). Amazingly, despite origins ranging across 18 months of the band's history, it all hung together very well, with the country-influenced 'Act Naturally' and 'What Goes On' -- both heavily featuring Ringo Starr -- adding some unexpected roots rock elements amid the cutting-edge, riff-driven glories of 'Day Tripper' and others, and the latter contrasting beautifully with McCartney's romantic classic 'Yesterday.' Despite being thrown together in a blender, the album could stand next to almost any of the competition in the summer of 1966, though it became clear with the release of Revolver, two months later, that the band had left most of the sounds represented here far behind them." - Bruce Eder, allmusic.com
Colored Vinyl LP
Numbered, Limited Edition - Only 200 copies
LP-shaped circular jacket
1. Drive My Car
2. I'm Only Sleeping
3. Nowhere Man
4. Dr. Robert
6. Act Naturally
1. And Your Bird Can Sing
2. If I Needed Someone
3. We Can Work It Out
4. What Goes On?
5. Day Tripper