Best music documentaries


Junior Member
I recently saw Nina Simone's documentary on Netflix and loved loved it. Would love to get immersed in documentaries similar to it.

What are your guys recs?
Just watched the recent Blue Note documentary, Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, and thought it was pretty great, although it certainly could have been three times as long and still too short.

20 Feet from Stardom, about backing vocalists, was amazing.

And even though I've never really been a fan, the Rush documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage, was delightful and totally engaging.


Senior Member
Mr Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown is excellent, in my humble opinion. I've watched it maybe 10 times. It's on Netflix - it is in the UK, anyway.

I Called Him Morgan, the Lee Morgan documentary on Netflix, is also very good.


Just watched the documentary about Janis Joplin - she really suffered the whole of her life because of the way people treated her since she was a woman that sang blues songs.

Also, I watched Super Duper Alice Cooper - a great documentary of a musician that's been at the lowest ebb and came up smiling. I was disappointed not to hear anecdotes of him hanging out with Keith Moon, but that's just a small grumble.

Sound City is also great, but I'm sure most drummers have watched that. About the studio that Nirvana used to record some of their hits and its history.


Platinum Member
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes is incredible. I'm admittedly a huge Blue Note fanboi, but still, I think anyone who loves music could enjoy it. I saw it when it was previewed last summer in art-house-type theaters, but I think it's on Starz now.



Silver Member
A few documentaries that I've seen and liked:

Beware of Mr. Baker - all about Ginger Baker
History of the Eagles - two part documentary about the Eagles
When We Were Kings - documentary about the Ali/Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match in 1974. I list it because it was supposed to take place at the same time as a big music festival in Kinshasa - James Brown and BB King were there.
Rush - beyond the lighted stage
Rush - Live in Rio
Standing in the Shadows of Motown - doc about the Funk Brothers Motown backing band
The Wrecking Crew - self explanatory
Hired Guns - doc about people who work with top name artists as sidemen
Janis: Little Girl Blue - doc about Janis Joplin
Muscle Shoals - doc about how the studios in Muscle Shoals, AL got started, and who all recorded there
20 Feet From Stardom - doc about backup singers
The Last Waltz - doc about the band "The Band" and their final concert on Thanksgiving Day, 1976
Ain't in it For My Health - Doc about Levon Helm, drummer for The Band

One Up One Down

Senior Member
I enjoyed the Evolution of Hip Hop series on Netflix. I'm not much of a hip hop fan but it made me appreciate some of the earlier stuff in that genre.

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
One More Time with Feeling made me a Nick Cave fan, but fair warning that it’s not an upbeat documentary. It’s introspective Nick Cave and it’s about tremendous loss.

The Two Killings of Sam Cooke is also good. An interesting look at the legend and the music business.


Armor of Light

Senior Member
Iron Maiden: Flight 666 is very entertaining. They seem so happy with their 747 and extended tour family. Must be something to live that!
Dave Grohl did end up with that mixing board. That was an excellent documentary.


Senior Member
"The other one: The long strange trip of Bob Weir" about Bob and Grateful Dead was a excellent movie and made me start listening to the old records of the band, something I never did prior watching the movie.


"Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" by Sam Dunn. I'm not a big fan of some of the black metal, but I found the documentary fascinating.