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The Rhino Controversy

Original Cover of Beatlesongs LP
Replacement Beatlesongs Cover

In 1982, The Rutles were involved in a record scandal reminiscent of the one surrounding the Beatles Yesterday and Today album. Rhino Records, at the time a small Los Angeles label specializing in off-beat releases, put out an album called Beatlesongs, purportedly a collection of Beatles novelty songs (it was actually a weird catch-all of assorted Beatles-related tunes).

For the collection, Rhino licensed The Rutles' "Hold My Hand" from Warner Bros Records. The cover of the album was done by well-known commercial artist William Stout (who had made a name for himself drawing the cover artwork for some of the best-looking Beatles bootleg records in the seventies). His cover drawing (top) included a representation of the man who killed John Lennon, which generated an immense backlash. Rhino responded by recalling the album and reissuing it with a new, innocuous cover (bottom), which they announced in this press release.

The original cover seems to be the most common--I've rarely seen copies of this LP with the replacement cover.

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