Volume V

Let It Be on home video (1981)

In 1981, the movie Let It Be was released to the home video market through 20th Century Fox and Magnetic Video Corporation. It was first issued on VHS (#4508-20) and Betamax (#4508-30), next on laserdisc (#4508-80), and finally, RCA secured the rights to release it for their CED* (Capacitance Electronic Disc System) "Videodisc" format, (#RCA 01411/CM11E-V105172). The latter format failed miserably due to poor quality discs, which always skipped, and the players which had a very high failure rate. Very few copies of Let It Be were pressed on the CED format, making it the hardest to find of the four formats. All of the issues of Let It Be went out of print within a couple of years.

Today, copies of the Let It Be laserdisc are one of the most sought after of all Beatle video releases, with prices exceeding $300 for mint condition copies. Only a few sealed copies are known to exist. VHS and Beta copies are almost as hard to find, but bring prices in the under $100 range. Factory sealed copies are even more valuable, and both of the videotape releases used special shrink wrap imprinted with the 20th Century Fox logo, great for authenticating original unopened copies. All four versions shown above are factory sealed copies, making this set one of the few known to exist in un-opened condition.

As of the end of 2000, nineteen years after its initial release, Let It Be has never been issued again. In 1997 a UK company, "VCI", announced plans to issue the movie for the first time in England. They claimed to have a version that was remastered in 1992 and that they would release it in 1997 (we're still waiting...)

* Only 6 Beatle/solo titles were ever released on the CED format. Aside from Let It Be, there was A Hard Day's Night, The Compleat Beatles (MGM MD 100166), Rock Show (RCA 12098), Give My Regards To Broadstreet (CBS/Fox 1448-90), and Ringo's Caveman (CBS/Fox 4543-90). The Last Waltz (RCA 01407) was also available (featuring Ringo, The Band, and others).

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