Cutout Bin: Censored and "Recalled" Album Covers
The Beatles, Yesterday and Today (1966)
We start with perhaps the best-known example of a "recalled" album cover. When advance copies were sent to stores and DJs, there was an immediate uproar over the cover, showing the band covered in baby parts and bloody meat. All copies were ordered to be returned to the manufacturer. These copies were "pasted over" with a new cover and sent back to stores. Only a handful of copies escaped the "repasting" and are of course valuable collector items. Many people tried to peel the new cover off, making an original "unpeeled" copy valuable, too!
One of the most baffling of history's "recalled" covers, someone apparently thought an unoccupied toilet was offensive. The original cover was quickly withdrawn and replaced with an awkward song-title box covering the offending bowl. Later copies had the entire bathroom cropped out!
Here we have an example of when controversy caused the cover to change before it was even released. Both the U.S. and UK record companies refused to release the original cover, which appears to be a vintage approximation of the Rudyard's men's room. The dull "RSVP card" cover was released instead, until the original art was restored on CD releases in the '80s.