Three formats were available, and a new one was released in February 2012:
The original album released on compact disc to accompany the film (May 4, 1999). This release is a single disc containing 17 tracks from the score. Each track is edited by Williams to present the score as one would hear it in a concert suite.
The Two-Disc Ultimate Edition released by popular demand (November 14, 2000). This set presents the score predominately as heard in the film (with most of the edits, loops, tracked music, and post-production changes in place). Although not exactly what is heard in the film, this set was meant to be listened to as one would hear the score in the film, but is not the complete score (although it is falsely stated on the back of the set as being 'every note recorded.')
A special re-issue of the original album to celebrate the film's 3D re-release on February 6, 2012. This version contains the "Duel of the Fates (Dialogue Version)" bonus track originally included on the Ultimate Edition.
None of the releases contain the entire score. Currently, no complete release has been made. The Album and Ultimate Edition each contain music not featured on the other release. Both sets also contain alternate takes of cues, while neither present some of the alternate takes only heard in the film.
The scores of the following two films would rely heavily upon tracking from this score, a decision that Williams and George Lucas had decided upon early into the film's production.
No complete score has ever been released, but the majority of unreleased pieces can be heard in various LucasArts video games.
After the album's release, the popularity of a more complete bootleg version of the score began to steal profits. In response, Sony released the Ultimate Edition, presenting the score nearly as it is heard in the film while falsely marketing itself as "every note ever recorded."
In the recording studio, Williams records cues multiple times. A track's film and album versions can be drastically different. One cue can be made up of several takes, putting together the best moments of each, replacing flubbed notes.
Since each track is run several times, each performance differs slightly. Occasionally, Williams will change orchestrations right on the spot. The score also makes use of several insert pieces which usually replace certain sections within a cue.
Examples of Different Takes:
Track 4 on Disc 1 of the Ultimate Edition vs. Video Games: The version used in the film cut out the cue's end, which features a snare roll, followed by a cymbal crash, a three-note horn blast followed by a final horn blast/snare hit. The final chord was used instead at the end of "The Droid Invasion". This ending was used in Attack of the Clones as Mace Windu enters the Geonosian arena.
Track 31 on Disc 1 of the Ultimate Edition vs. DVD vs. Track 7 of the 1-disc album vs video games: The film features loops and extended segments of "The Flag Parade" not featured in the UE. The Album also features a similar loop, as do the video games.
Track 32 on Disc 1 of the Ultimate Edition vs. Film: The track segues straight into the ending moments of "The Flag Parade", whereas in the film, there is a considerable gap in between. Also, an abridged version of the cue's ending measures have been retained despite not appearing in the film.
"Take to Your Ships": Take to Your Ships has many different orchestrations heard throughout the UE, the album, earlier and later LucasArts games.
"Duel of the Fates" many versions: Duel of the Fates has several different orchestrations heard in the games, Album, and Ultimate Edition.
"Anakin's Theme" vs. Alternate Take: The Alternate take heard in the games has a loud bang in the middle of the track (possibly from an instrumentalist hitting their stand). It also is shorter and eliminates the return to the descending middle segment.
Due to the Ultimate Edition portrayal of the score as a film version, and to alleviate long tracks, certain tracks may be several minutes long, but are broken up into segments. When being played, the individual segments are separate tracks. The main track names are in bold and their separate portions follow.
I Am Shark reissued the original soundtrack to Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace on vinyl in late 2014, making it part one of three planned vinyl re-releases of the prequel trilogy soundtracks. The A.V. Club wrote of the I Am Shark vinyl edition:
John Williams’ score is wonderful, and his use of leitmotif and the way he creates new themes while weaving in existing music from the saga is a treat. Williams is truly a master of Wagnerian-bombast and baroque composition, and when “Duel Of The Fates” kicks in, the Star Wars faithful can just sit there, listening and wishing that the theme was from a much better movie. The vinyl mastering on the release is also very good, and retains that certain warmth that you can’t get from the digital releases.
The album was released in a two-LP format, with limited color versions coordinating with characters and elements from the film: