50 Music Documentaries

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1.
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
 
2.
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
 
3.
A Band Called Death (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded. (96 mins.)
 
4.
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
 
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 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
 
7.
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
 
8.
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
 
9.
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.)
 
10.
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.)
 
11.
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
 
12.
24 Hour Party People: The Factory Records Saga (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
(49 mins.)
Director: David Robertson
 
13.
Great Performances (1971 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Spectacular rise & disgraced collapse of Memphis' socially-conscious, neighborhood-based Stax Records...
 
14.
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
 
15.
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
 
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.
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
 
18.
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
 
19.
Bittersweet Motel (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Bittersweet Motel is a documentary about the popular rock band Phish. The film focuses on Phish's music, with little emphasis on their die-hard fan base. (82 mins.)
Director: Todd Phillips
 
20.
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
 
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 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
 
23.
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.)
 
24.
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.)
 
25.
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
 
26.
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.)
 
27.
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
 
28.
Patti Smith: Dream of Life (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An intimate portrait of poet, painter, musician and singer Patti Smith that mirrors the essence of the artist herself. (109 mins.)
Director: Steven Sebring
 
29.
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
 
30.
Thunder Soul (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Alumni from Houston's storied Kashmere High School Stage Band return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for their beloved band leader who turned the struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. (83 mins.)
Director: Mark Landsman
 
31.
Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Nightclub (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
On February 16, 1989 Larry Bloch and a team of novices achieved something unique in a former Chineese-food... (93 mins.)
Director: Dean Budnick
 
32.
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
 
33.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a feature-length documentary film about the dismal commercial failure, subsequent massive critical acclaim, and enduring legacy of pop music's greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star. (113 mins.)
 
34.
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
 
35.
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.)
 
36.
Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
This documentary movie covers two concerts at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, to celebrate Chuck Berry's 60th birthday, and also discusses his life and career. (120 mins.)
Director: Taylor Hackford
 
37.
Bob Geldof: Saint or Singer? (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(50 mins.)
Director: Mike Connolly
 
38.
Ray Davies: The World from My Window (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(50 mins.)
 
39.
Live Aid (1985 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
The broadcast of the biggest benefit concert in history, organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief. (960 mins.)
Director: Vincent Scarza
 
40.
Glastonbury (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A documentary on the 30th anniversary of Britain's best-known music festival. (138 mins.)
Director: Julien Temple
 
41.
Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A documentary on the influential musician Scott Walker. (95 mins.)
Director: Stephen Kijak
 
42.
Are We Not Men? (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
The official documentary of the band DEVO. This new film takes you into the brains that created the concept... (90 mins.)
Director: Tony Pemberton
 
43.
Hotel California: LA from The Byrds to The Eagles (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Chris Wilson
 
44.
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
 
45.
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
 
46.
Queen: Champions of the World (1995 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
This documentary on the music group Queen includes performance and rehearsal footage, and exclusive... (120 mins.)
 
47.
The Punk Singer (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s. (81 mins.)
Director: Sini Anderson
 
48.
Muscle Shoals (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman". (111 mins.)
 
49.
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.)
 
50.
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
This intimate documentary gives viewers a singular glimpse into Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele virtuoso, but also Jake, the young boy who grew up in a modest apartment to a single mother and unsuspectingly rose to international stardom. (54 mins.)