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the beatles

The Truth About The Beatles' Yesterday and Today Album Art

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The most controversial cover of the Beatles ever is probably "Yesterday and Today."

As Rolling Stone reports, a 26-year old photographer was the person behind the idea. Photographer Robert Whitaker had previously photographed John Lennon, publishing the prints in 1965, during the height of Beatlemania.

The quirky photos featured Lennon with a flower on his eye (via the National Portrait Gallery). But by 1966, Whitaker was growing frustrated with the limitations that stardom had put on his subjects, saying, "I got fed up with taking squeaky-clean pictures of the Beatles." (via Rolling Stone).

So Whitaker posed the four men with chopped-up dolls, covered in dirt and pieces of meat (via Robert Whitaker Photography). The cover became known as the "butcher" cover, and people were immediately offended by it. It didn't help that just before the scandalous cover was revealed, John Lennon had said that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus," as Brittanica reports. He later apologized for the remarks.

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