Music Documentaries

My Favorite Music Documentaries
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1.
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... (101 mins.)
Director: James Moll
 
2.
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.)
 
3.
Sound City (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California. (107 mins.)
Director: David Grohl
 
4.
Tom Dowd & the Language of Music (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A documentary about Tom Dowd, who was an innovative recording engineer and producer of noted albums with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers and many others. (90 mins.)
Director: Mark Moormann
 
5.
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.)
 
6.
The Compleat Beatles (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The history of the great British rock band. (119 mins.)
 
7.
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
 
8.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez. (86 mins.)
 
9.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/11 X  
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour. (82 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
10.
Classic Albums (1997 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A detailed look at the production of the biggest album in the history of progressive rock and one of the best-selling albums of all time.
 
11.
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
 
12.
Metal Evolution (2011 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Metal Evolution is broken down into episodes about a different piece of metal history. The series includes interviews with and about Alice Cooper...
 
13.
Oil City Confidential (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s... (104 mins.)
Director: Julien Temple
 
14.
Buena Vista Social Club (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers. (105 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
 
15.
Beware of Mr. Baker (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound. (100 mins.)
Director: Jay Bulger
 
16.
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.)
 
17.
Let's Get Lost (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends... (120 mins.)
Director: Bruce Weber
 
18.
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
 
19.
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.)
 
20.
Big Fun in the Big Town (1986 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
(40 mins.)
 
21.
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
 
22.
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.)
 
23.
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Documentary showcase, what life was like for the music artists living during the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene in the mid and late 1980s. (93 mins.)
 
24.
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
 
25.
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
 
26.
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
 
27.
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.)
 
28.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 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.)
 
29.
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
 
30.
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.)
 
31.
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
 
32.
The Night James Brown Saved Boston (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The film documents that remarkable concert and the politics around it. Boston Mayor Kevin White and... (66 mins.)
Director: David Leaf
 
33.
Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax. (103 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
34.
It Might Get Loud (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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.)
 
35.
How to Grow a Band (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Chris Thile is at a crossroads. His marriage has ended and his platinum-selling band, Nickel Creek, has gone on hiatus. But Thile, a prodigy who has defied expectations since he picked up the mandolin at age five, has a plan. (89 mins.)
Director: Mark Meatto
 
36.
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
 
37.
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
 
38.
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
 
39.
Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A look at the history of fame in the world through the eyes of pop star impresario, Rodney Bingenheimer. (94 mins.)
 
40.
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Documentary following singer Madonna on her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990. (120 mins.)
Director: Alek Keshishian
 
41.
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
 
42.
Cocksucker Blues (1972 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their 1972 North American Tour, their... (93 mins.)
Director: Robert Frank
 
43.
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
 
44.
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
 
45.
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
 
46.
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
 
47.
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
 
48.
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
 
49.
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
 
50.
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
 
51.
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.)
 
52.
Until the Light Takes Us (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Interviews and news footage explore the rise of black metal music in Norway in the 1990s, including artists who were involved in suicide, murder and arson. (93 mins.)
 
53.
Hype! (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Documentary covering the growth and subsequent overexposure of the Seattle "grunge" music scene in the early 90s (84 mins.)
Director: Doug Pray
 
54.
Kurt & Courtney (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain and his relationship with Courtney Love. (95 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
55.
Biggie and Tupac (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997. (108 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
56.
Jandek on Corwood (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
"The longest-running, weirdest, loneliest enigma in popular music is a guy from Texas who calls himself Jandek." Jandek on Corwood is the 89-minute documentary that explores this man, his world and his music. (88 mins.)
Director: Chad Freidrichs
 
57.
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A documentary on the legendary singer-songwriter, with performances by those musicians he has influenced. (105 mins.)
Director: Lian Lunson
 
58.
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
 
59.
X: The Unheard Music (1986 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
This film is a documentary about the personalities in, and the music of, the early 1980's Los Angeles punk band X... (84 mins.)
Director: W.T. Morgan
 
60.
Shine a Light (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A career-spanning documentary on the Rolling Stones, with concert footage from their "A Bigger Bang" tour. (122 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
61.
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren... (103 mins.)
Director: Julien Temple
 
62.
Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A look at the wild scene outside a Judas Priest concert (17 mins.)
 
63.
No One Here Gets Out Alive: A Tribute to Jim Morrison (1981 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Ten years after the death of lead singer, Jim Morrison, remaining members of the Doors offer insight into the unique vision of a rock and roll legend. (60 mins.)
 
64.
25x5: The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A look back at the lives and careers of the Rolling Stones.
Director: Nigel Finch
 
65.
MC5*: A True Testimonial (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
(120 mins.)
Director: David C. Thomas
 
66.
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
 
67.
A Great Day in Harlem (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958... (60 mins.)
Director: Jean Bach
 
68.
Classic Albums (1997 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary examining the production of Queen's most iconic and critically acclaimed album.
 
69.
Edgeplay (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A documentary feature film about the 1970's seminal all girl band, The Runaways. (110 mins.)
 
70.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A profile of Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, and how her music evolved from personal folk into pop, jazz and avant-garde. (90 mins.)
 
71.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
Episode: Les Paul: Chasing Sound (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The Authorized biography of Les Paul, " The Wizard of Waukesha". The name Les Paul is synonymous with the electric guitar... (90 mins.)
 
72.
loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
loudQUIETloud is the story of this unforseen plot twist. A deeply compelling portrait of four band members and their difficult, tense, and ultimately triumphant return. (85 mins.)
 
73.
Ramones Raw (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Climb in the van, buckle your seat belt and hang on tight because you're about to experience life on the road with the founding fathers of punk rock... (105 mins.)
Director: John Cafiero
 
74.
Pink Floyd: P. U. L. S. E. Live at Earls Court (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Pink Floyd's final live show in 1995. (145 mins.)
Director: David Mallet
 
75.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
 
76.
Marley (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley. (144 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
77.
The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 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
 
78.
Arena (1975 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A profile of legendary music producer Sir George Martin with the help of his son Giles and wife Judy with contributions from Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Michael Palin, Howard Goodall, Cilla Black, Bernard Cribbins and Rolf Harris.
 
79.
Jimi Hendrix (1973 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done... (98 mins.)
Director: Joe Boyd, John Head
 
80.
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.)
 
81.
Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary on The Who, featuring interviews with the band's two surviving members, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. (237 mins.)
 
82.
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.)
 
83.
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
 
84.
Pink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
"Wish You Where Here" was released September, 1975. Interviews with Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Manson and Richard Wright as they tell the story of the creative process of this album. (85 mins.)
Director: John Edginton
 
85.
Jazz (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A survey of the musical form's history and major talents. (114 mins.)
 
86.
Baby Snakes (1979 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Rock artist Frank Zappa hosts a concert in New York City. This movie contains tons of on-stage footage, off-stage footage, and animation. (166 mins.)
Director: Frank Zappa
 
87.
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Interviews, archival footage and home movies are used to illustrate a social history of folk artist and activist Pete Seeger. (93 mins.)
Director: Jim Brown
 
88.
Bound for Glory (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer. (147 mins.)
Director: Hal Ashby