Smetana: Quartets 1 and 2 (Crossroads Records)
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Which came first, I wonder—the Yellow Submarine movie or this art style?
The Yellow Submarine film premiered on 17 July 1968 in the UK (and on 13 November 1968 in the US). This record was released in 1967, and illustrator Sandy Hoffman worked in this style before, cf. these covers from 1966/1967. See also this 1966 album cover by Milton Glaser, or this 1967 poster by Seymour Chwast (both founding members of Push Pin Studios in 1954). This style definitely was in the air in the mid 1960s. Depending on how wide your definition is, there are certainly more precursors from earlier years.
Here’s a cover illustrated by Milton Glaser in a related style in 1964: