The Beatles
Yesterday and Today


4.5
superb

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (55 Reviews)
June 20th, 2016 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1966 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Meat is Murder

Perhaps one of the oddest album releases of all time, the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today was released as an American only release in the summer of 1966. Yesterday and Today contains a hodge-podge of songs that were recorded during sessions in 1965 and 1966 that were placed together by the band’s American label, Capitol Records. While not a part of what is considered to be "official Beatles canon,” Yesterday and Today remains an important release for Beatles fans, despite its compilation-style nature. When Beatlemania crossed the Atlantic and arrived in America in 1963 and 1964, Capitol Records wanted to monetize the output of the band in every way possible for their American fans, most famously by releasing Beatles albums that were significantly different than the ones released in the United Kingdom, allowing the label to release more albums to the public, and generating more revenue. Releases like Something New, Beatles ’65, Beatles VI, and even a folk-rock version of Rubber Soul with a significantly altered track list, all became chart toppers and sold incredibly well in the United States. Yesterday and Today would be the last major release that was not standardized by the band themselves, signaling how the band wanted to maintain a much more active role in how their music and their images were perceived by the public on a global scale.

The most memorable part of this album, and the main reason why it remains famous to this day, is because of the infamous “butcher cover.” Tired of doing “another photo session, and another Beatles thing,” the band decided to work with Robert Whittaker for a project called “A Somnambulant Adventure,” which featured the four lads from Liverpool dressed in white butcher’s smocks, surrounded by pieces of meat and body parts from plastic dolls. Due to a couple of seemingly incomprehensible oversights, the butcher cover wound up being placed on around 750,000 copies of Yesterday and Today. These copies were recalled by Capital the day after its release, and were either dumped in landfills, or covered up with the much more friendly “trunk cover,” which was much less shocking and much more appropriate for a band with a following as large as the Beatles. At the time, this was seen as the first big public relations mistake that the band had made. Ironically, copies of Yesterday and Today with the original butcher cover in-tact are collector’s items and have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Musically, Yesterday and Today features a wide variety of styles that the band were known for at this point in time, including Byrds-style jangle guitar rock (“And Your Bird Can Sing,” “If I Needed Someone”), their forays into the budding folk rock and psychedelic scene (“Drive My Car” and “Nowhere Man,” both of which were held out of the American release of Rubber Soul), their most famous ballad, “Yesterday,” and the first and only album appearance of the double sided single “Day Tripper”/”We Can Work It Out.” The album maintains a relatively even split of songs from the albums released during this period: two tracks from Help!, four from Rubber Soul, and three from the yet-to-be-released Revolver, along with the aforementioned “Day Tripper” release. The same statement cannot be said for some odd choices for what was included on this album, the most baffling of which is that there are two tracks sung by Ringo (“Act Naturally” and “What Goes On”), but only one from George Harrison. These choices ultimately lower the quality of the album as a whole, despite each individual song being from the band’s golden era. The Beatles would release Revolver only two months after this album, marking a significant change in the band’s sound and how their music was released, leaving Yesterday and Today as nothing more than a very interesting footnote in the band’s thorough history.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
June 20th 2016


681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Comments and feedback always welcome!



Wanted to celebrate that this was released 50 years ago today - just another landmark album from 1966, no big deal.

LotusFlower
June 20th 2016


12001 Comments


its been 50 years and I still cant figure out why this is the art they went with

ZackSh33
June 20th 2016


681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it was supposed to be "their comment on the Vietnam war" but who knows if that was actually the case

LotusFlower
June 20th 2016


12001 Comments


i thought it was them trying to tell audiences that paul was dead

TVC15
June 20th 2016


9969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wha? Folk rock version of Rubber Soul? Also pos dude

Digging: MGMT - Little Dark Age

ZackSh33
June 20th 2016


681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks TVC. And fun fact, it's the American version of Rubber Soul that inspired Brian Wilson to make Pet Sounds.

IcelandRevel
June 20th 2016


943 Comments


And then the Beatles were inspired by Pet Sounds...

ZackSh33
June 20th 2016


681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it all comes full circle

ArsMoriendi
June 20th 2016


26254 Comments


Lame that the US versions of Rubber Soul and Revolver had to neutered to make this.

Digging: Foxygen - Take The Kids Off Broadway

TVC15
June 20th 2016


9969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What's wrong with the US versions of Rubber Soul and Revolver? And what's this so called folk rock version of Rubber Soul?

ArsMoriendi
June 20th 2016


26254 Comments


The original US versions of Rubber Soul Revolver, and Help! are missing tracks and have alternative tracks so that this album could exist. We listen to the UK version in modern day.

ArsMoriendi
June 20th 2016


26254 Comments


US Help:

Side one
1. "Help!"
2. "The Night Before"
3. "From Me to You Fantasy" [Instrumental]
4. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
5. "I Need You"
6. "In the Tyrol"[Instrumental]

Side two
1. "Another Girl"
2. "Another Hard Day's Night" [Instrumental]
3. "Ticket to Ride"
4. "Medley: The Bitter End (Ken Thorne)/You Can't Do That" [Instrumental]
5. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
6. "The Chase"

US Rubber Soul/folk rock Rubber Soul:

Side one
1. "I've Just Seen a Face"
2. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)"
3. "You Won't See Me"
4. "Think for Yourself"
5. "The Word"
6. "Michelle"

Side two
1. "It's Only Love"
2. "Girl"
3. "I'm Looking Through You"
4. "In My Life"
5. "Wait"
6. "Run for Your Life"

US Revolver:

Side one
1. "Taxman"
2. "Eleanor Rigby"
3. "Love You To"
4. "Here, There and Everywhere"
5. "Yellow Submarine"
6. "She Said She Said"

Side two
1. "Good Day Sunshine"
2. "For No One"
3. "I Want to Tell You"
4. "Got to Get You into My Life"
5. "Tomorrow Never Knows"

Veldin
June 20th 2016


3858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

my dad had a copy of this and sold it at a garage sale not realizing it would be rare in the future. Excellent review, mate

TVC15
June 20th 2016


9969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ooh so "folk rock" Rubber Soul is essentially the US version of it kk

theBoneyKing
June 20th 2016


16702 Comments


Isn't the UK version of Rubber Soul already a folk rock album though?

Digging: The National - I Am Easy to Find

ArsMoriendi
June 20th 2016


26254 Comments


Yes, but less folky tracks like "Drive My Car" and "Nowhere Man" were cut in favor of folkier tracks like "I've Just Seen a Face" for instance

theBoneyKing
June 20th 2016


16702 Comments


Ah, makes sense

ZackSh33
June 20th 2016


681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Ars for filling in the information I skipped over in the review!

ArsMoriendi
June 20th 2016


26254 Comments


US Revolver really was lacking in the Lennon department, George even had more songs than him on it.

fuzzzviolet
October 17th 2016


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Got this one on vinyl. Very nice



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