The film premiered on May 25, 1977 and by late summer a disco version of the film's theme by Meco became America's number one song. In 2005, the American Film Institute named the original Star Wars soundtrack as the most memorable score of all time for a US film. In 2004, it was preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry, calling it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." In 2016, the album was re-released by Sony Classical Records on vinyl, CD, and digital formats alongside Williams' other Star Wars soundtracks.
The original 1977 release of the soundtrack, entitled Star Wars - Original Soundtrack, included a poster of a painting by science fiction artist John Berkey, depicting the final battle over the Death Star from the film's end. The album was released as a double LP which was formatted for an autochanger record player; one disc had sides one and four with the other having sides two and three. This allowed a person to stack sides one and two on the player, then flip the stack over for sides three and four, allowing the listener to have over half an hour of uninterrupted music interspersed with key bits of dialog before they needed to flip the discs over.
First release on LP by 20th Century. For the original soundtrack, John Williams selected 75 minutes of music out of the 88 minute score. To provide musical variety, it did not follow the film's chronological order.
In 1993, 20th Century Fox Film Scores released a four-CD box set containing music from the original Star Wars Trilogy. This release marked the first time that the complete contents of the original double-LP releases of the scores from the first two films became available on CD. Disc one in the set was devoted to Star Wars, with further tracks on disc four.
Since every cue is recorded several times, usually with varying orchestral differences, the final decisions on what takes of cues are used and/or how they are edited to create the tracks was decided by the music editor Kenneth Wannberg. In the time between the original LP release and the Anthology's release, this breakdown was lost. Because of this, many takes of cues used on the Anthology are not the same. This is most obvious on the cue "The Throne Room". Also, the tracks were re-arranged to better follow their chronological order in the film.