"The Album Cover That Almost Was..."
The untold story of the original White Album cover
As told by Terry Samwell

Above: Lennon's original cover for the 1968 Beatles' "A Doll's House" (click on each image for a larger view)

When it comes to John Lennon-inspired Beatles parodies, most ardent Beatles fans think of John's parody cover idea for the original GET BACK album. The photo had The Beatles assume the same position as the PLEASE PLEASE ME album.

While the cover wasn't used for GET BACK, it was later used for THE BEATLES 1962-66/THE BEATLES 1967-70 compilation albums (known as the "red" and "blue" albums). However, John's GET BACK parody wasn't his first. It is a little known fact that he attempted another parody cover in 1968 - of the infamous "butcher cover" of the American release YESTERDAY...AND TODAY.

When The Beatles returned from their trip to India in 1968, they had over 30 new songs. The album that resulted was released as THE BEATLES (better known as the "white album"). But, the original working title of the album was A DOLL'S HOUSE. While the working title of the album wasn't Lennon's idea, his wicked sense of humor helped him come up with a cover idea for the new album: The Beatles would parody their unreleased original "butcher cover" of YESTERDAY...AND TODAY. The original butcher cover had dolls in it, the perfect wicked word play on A DOLL'S HOUSE! Paul's idea for the cover was to have it look like an art print: to have the cover and title embossed, and for each cover to have a unique stamped serial number.

The 1968 "butcher doll's house" photos were taken the same day as the "Mad Day out" photo session on July 28, 1968 and had the band assuming the same poses as the 1966 "butcher block".

Right: This is one of the four glossy 8-1/2 x 11 pictures that was to be included with the album

In addition to the cover, Lennon had the idea of including four glossy 8-1/2 x 11 photos of each band member with the new album. This was the only idea of Lennon's that actually was used when THE BEATLES was released in 1968.

However, both the title and the new photos were eventually rejected for the new album. Supposedly, Paul McCartney, ever the diplomat for the band, didn't want any controversy for the all-important first Beatles record to come out on Apple Records. Thus, the stark white cover eventually became the official album cover.

In defense of the cover, John reportedly said, "It's as relevant as 'Obla-di-obla-da'!"

The Beatles Get Recalled-Their 1966 Somnambulant Adventure Click here
The Beatles "bakery" album Click here
To visit "All About the Beatles Butcher Cover" Click here