This original started as a response to another older thread, but it led me down a rabbit for information. So, instead, I thought it could be of some use as its own post.
Keeping track of Beatles mixes is its own full-time hobby. There are some helpful guides out there that I’ve used which includes the excellent Daily Beatle and Maul’s Complete Home and Studio Guide. The latest version as of time of writing is here:
Beatles film mix variants
A lot of pre-BlyRay home media remixes were done by Ron Furmanek who did most of the home media restoration work for the Beatles:
A Hard Day’s Night
Theatrical mono - the “Can’t Buy Me Love” (George’s guitar is louder) and “Tell Me Why” use a different mono mix to the mono album versions.
Releases: AMC broadcast, 1996 AFI Restored MONO Soundtrack, 2014 Criterion Blu-ray, 2022 Criterion 4K UHD.
1982 stereo version - Universal Pictures reissued the film in 1982 with a new opening photo montage featuring “I’ll Cry Instead”. The track was featured on the 1964 US soundtrack but was not featured in the final film. The album stereo mixes replaced the original mono mixes the other songs. This version is also missing some sound effect cues
Releases: 1984-1990s VHS releases, 1987 Criterion LD, 1995 MPI LD, 1997 MPI DVD.
2002 Marimax Dolby Digital 5.1 - this is a controversial one. Ron Furmanek restored the original mono and restored the missing sound effects. However, Marimax decided to upscale his mono mix into 5.1(!!!) The result is awful.
Releases: 2002 Marimax DVD and Blu-Ray.
2014 remix - Giles Martin remixed the films songs in 5.1 and stereo.
Releases: 2014 Criterion Blu-ray, 2022 Criterion 4K UHD.
1965 Theatrical mono - the only known version out there, outside of the film print is a broadcast from AMC and an AFI 1996 print. There are different mixes on the mono soundtrack to the mono album: “Help!” has double tracked vocal in the intro and “Ticket to Ride” has less reverb and more tambourine.
Releases: It has appeared on a few bootleg compilations.
1987 Stereo - Ron Furmanek’s stereo version of Help! produced for the Criterion LD. It uses the original 1965 stereo mixes of the songs.
Releases: 1987 Criterion LD, 1989-1990s VHS, 1995 MPI LD, 1997 MPI DVD.
Releases: Apple remixed Help! for DVD in stereo and 5.1 (sadly they did not include the mono soundtrack) - 2007 DVD, 2013 Blu-ray
The Beatles at Shea Stadium
Raw concert audio - the raw concert audio track was never officially released but was released by HMC in 2007 when a tape was sold at auction.
Releases: 2007 “The Beatles and the Great Concert at Shea” CD
1966 TV mono - the original soundtrack was the live concert audio with further overdubs done later at London’s CTS Studios on 5 January 1966. The song “Act Naturally” was replaced by the mono mix of the album version.
Releases: 1978 Media Home Entertainment Betamax, 1979 BBC broadcast.
1991 remix - the concert was remixed in 1991 using the overdubbed tapes for a canceled VHS release. It has since been leaked onto the bootleg market as “Shea!” by His Master Choice.
Releases: 2020 “Shea!” HCM DVD
2015 remix - for select screenings of Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week documentary, a newly restored and remixed version of the film was shown after the main documentary. This was remixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell but die to a long-standing licensing dispute, there was no home media release.
Releases: This is a tough one. To date, the audio track (stereo?) has been leaked with an iPhone filming the screen as the video. So, this one is still M.I.A.
Magical Mystery Tour
1967 TV mono - The original mono broadcast mix. With mono song mixes and a different mono mix than released on the album of the title track (RM7 with a different “roll up, roll up” overdub). This is also the soundtrack used on the 1974 US theatrical release from New Line Cinema.
Releases: This can be found on the original VHS releases pre-1988 - 1978 MEDIA/Media Home Entertainment Betamax (NTSC), 1981 MEDIA/Media Home Entertainment VHS (NTSC), 1980s Empire Films VHS (PAL Australia).
1988 “George Martin” stereo remix - George Martin is in quotes as it was actually Ron Furmanek that remixed it with Martin acting as Executive Producer.
Releases: 1988 VHS and LD with a 1992 reissue on LD.
1997 DVD mix - uses the original soundtrack with the stereo mixes from the album.
Releases: 1997 MPI DVD
2012 remix - a new Giles Martin remix in stereo and 5.1
Releases: 2012 DVD and Blu-ray
HMC also released a bootleg DVD that combines the video from the 1988 LD and the soundtrack from the MEDIA mono VHS: https://www.jpgr.co.uk/boot_hmc045.html
- 1968 Original UK cut mono - the UK print with “Hey Bulldog”
Releases: The 1999 DVD has been reported to have stereo mixes of “When I’m Sixty-Four”, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” and “Only A Northern Song”. The tracks on the '99 DVD mono is slightly pitched up.
The 2012 Blu-ray has its songs in the correct pitch except “Only A Northern Song” which is at a slightly slower. “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” is in stereo on the 2012 BluRay.
1968 Original International cut mono - the international cut with “Beatles to battle!” and no “Hey Bulldog”
Releases: AMC broadcast.
1987 stereo (International cut) - prepared by Ron Furmanek using stereo mixes of some songs. “Eleanor Rigby” has its stereo channels reversed. “All Together Now (reprise)”, “Only A Northern Song” and “It’s All Too Much” are in fake stereo. “Nowhere Man” is the original 1965 stereo mix.
Releases: 1987 LD and VHS
Preview version of the 1999 re-issue with rough mix of the '99 remix (UK cut) - In 1999, YS was remixed for the film’s 30th anniversary. This was the first time the pre-bounced elements of Beatles tracks were used in a remix. A preview VHS was circulating at the time that featured the songs in a rough mix state. These tracks have been leaked on bootleg.
Releases: songs can be found on the Contemporary Sound 1& 2 (Magoocus) 2009 CDs and Back To Basics series.
1999 remix (UK cut) - remixed for the film’s 30th anniversary. This was the first time the pre-bounced elements of Beatles tracks were used in a remix.
Releases: 1999 LD and VHS, 2012 DVD and BluRay
Let It Be
A good run down of the history of Let It Be can be found here: https://webgrafikk.com/blog/documentary/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-the-let-it-be-film/
Releases: 1979 BBC broadcast, 1981 Magnetic Video LD, Betmax and VHS, 1981 RCA CED, 1984 West German Warner VHS
1992 MPI stereo - Ron Furmanek remixed some of the songs from the original 8-track into stereo for a planned 1992 home video release of ‘Let It Be’ that was ultimately scrapped.
Releases: HMC have since released a boot of it: https://www.giginjapan.com/beatles-let-it-be-movie-hmc/