Greatest Music Documentaries of All Time

A list compiling the greatest music documentaries ever created. In alphabetical order:
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1.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams. (80 mins.)
Director: Sacha Gervasi
 
2.
The Beatles Anthology (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
An autobiographical documentary of the greatest of the rock bands. (600 mins.)
 
3.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style. (107 mins.)
 
4.
Dig! (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor. (107 mins.)
Director: Ondi Timoner
 
5.
Dont Look Back (1967 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan. (96 mins.)
Director: D.A. Pennebaker
 
6.
The Filth and the Fury (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols. (108 mins.)
Director: Julien Temple
 
7.
Gimme Shelter (1970 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont. (91 mins.)
 
8.
Hated: GG Allin & the Murder Junkies (1993 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Documentary about notorious punk rock performer GG Allin. (52 mins.)
Director: Todd Phillips
 
9.
Joy Division (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band. (93 mins.)
Director: Grant Gee
 
10.
The Kids Are Alright (1979 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
From the early black and white days to their colourful hedonistic era, you will Rock! See them at their most creative, and destructive, and experience The Who: Here! (101 mins.)
Director: Jeff Stein
 
11.
The Last Waltz (1978 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band. (117 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
12.
Let It Be (1970 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The filmed account of the Beatles's attempt to recapture their old group spirit by making a back to basics album, which instead drove them further apart. (81 mins.)
 
13.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs. (208 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
14.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star. (90 mins.)
 
15.
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia nervosa and the cultural influence of the Carpenters in the 70s. (43 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
16.
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A feature-length documentary chronicling early 80's punk rock band the Minutemen, from their beginnings in San Pedro, California, to their demise after the death of singer D. Boon in 1985. (91 mins.)
Director: Tim Irwin
 
17.
The Clash: Westway to the World (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band. (60 mins.)
Director: Don Letts
 
18.
Woodstock (1970 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The film chronicle of the legendary 1969 music festival. (184 mins.)
 
19.
1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
David Markey's documentary of life on the road with Sonic Youth and Nirvana during their tour of Europe in late 1991... (99 mins.)
Director: Dave Markey
 
20.
Sigur Rós: Heima (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In the summer of 2006, Sigur Rós returned home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts for the people of Iceland... (97 mins.)
Director: Dean DeBlois
 
21.
Pearl Jam Twenty (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A documentary on the band Pearl Jam that marks their 20th anniversary in the year 2011. (109 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
 
22.
No Distance Left to Run (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary about the English rock band Blur. (104 mins.)
 
23.
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Rising from the ashes of Nirvana, the Foo Fighters became a Grammy-winning sensation on their own. Sixteen... (150 mins.)
Director: James Moll
 
24.
Stop Making Sense (1984 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads. (88 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
25.
Scratch (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A feature-length documentary film about hip-hop DJing, otherwise known as turntablism. From the South Bronx in the 1970s to San Francisco now... (92 mins.)
Director: Doug Pray
 
26.
The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love. (110 mins.)
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
 
27.
I Need That Record! The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A documentary feature examining why over 3000 independent record stores have closed across the U.S. in the past decade... (78 mins.)
Director: Brendan Toller
 
28.
The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In 2007 the legendary American duo White Stripes toured Canada. Besides playing the usual venues they challenged themselves and played in buses... (93 mins.)
Director: Emmett Malloy
 
29.
Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A film shot over during a two-night performance by Neil Young at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. (103 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
30.
Rust Never Sleeps (1979 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Documentary covering Neil Young's October 22, 1978 concert performance at the Cow Palace. (108 mins.)
Director: Neil Young
 
31.
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
First-time filmmaker and award-winning photographer Sam Jones documents the recording of Wilco's album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." (92 mins.)
Director: Sam Jones
 
32.
Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Be Here to Love Me - Chronicles the fascinating and often turbulent life of Townes Van Zandt. (99 mins.)
Director: Margaret Brown
 
33.
End of the Century (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of the punk rock band The Ramones. (110 mins.)
 
34.
Instrument (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A collaboration between filmmaker Jem Cohen and the Washington D.C. band Fugazi, covering the 10 year period of 1987-1996... (115 mins.)
Director: Jem Cohen
 
35.
Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death... (124 mins.)
Director: Julien Temple
 
36.
Punk: Attitude (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary on the music, performers, attitude and distinctive look that made up punk rock. (90 mins.)
Director: Don Letts
 
37.
Lightning Bolt: The Power of Salad (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Lightning Bolt's 2001 tour through the United States, featuring live performances and interviews with the the band, friends and family. (71 mins.)
 
38.
The Decline of Western Civilization (1981 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag... (100 mins.)
 
39.
You're Gonna Miss Me (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Documentary about rock pioneer Roky Erickson, detailing his rise as a psychedelic hero, his lengthy institutionalization, his descent into poverty and filth, and his brother's struggle with their religious mother to improve Roky's care. (91 mins.)
Director: Keven McAlester
 
40.
It Might Get Loud (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White. (98 mins.)
 
41.
American Hardcore (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 (100 mins.)
Director: Paul Rachman
 
42.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary crew followed Metallica for the better part of 2001-2003, a time of tension and release for the rock band, as they recorded their album St. Anger, fought bitterly, and sought the counsel of their on-call shrink. (141 mins.)
 
43.
New York Doll (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A recovering alcoholic and recently converted Mormon, Arthur "Killer" Kane, of the rock band The New York Dolls, is given a chance at reuniting with his band after 30 years. (75 mins.)
Director: Greg Whiteley
 
44.
Nico Icon (1995 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A look into the many lives of Christa Päffgen, otherwise known as Nico; from cutie German mädchen to the first of the supermodels... (70 mins.)
 
45.
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The life and work of the enigmatic folk rock singer-songwriter. (116 mins.)
Director: John Scheinfeld
 
46.
Meeting People Is Easy (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An entertaining "rockumentary" about Radiohead that shows some of the tedium of being a rock star, as well as some of the fun stuff. (99 mins.)
Director: Grant Gee
 
47.
The Fearless Freaks (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on the evolution of the Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips. (103 mins.)
Director: Bradley Beesley
 
48.
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius. (90 mins.)
 
49.
Imagine: John Lennon (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A biography of the rock music star. (100 mins.)
Director: Andrew Solt
 
50.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
"Runnin' Down A Dream," a film directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich, is the story of one of America's great rock and roll bands told as never before. (239 mins.)
 
51.
Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists. (108 mins.)
Director: Paul Justman
 
52.
If I Should Fall from Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Music videos and archived footage supplement recent interviews in this documentary of ex-Pogues singer Shane MacGowan... (91 mins.)
Director: Sarah Share
 
53.
Soul Power (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary on the legendary soul music concert staged in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974. (92 mins.)