Great music documentaries are an art form in themselves. Not only are they entertaining, they are educational and inspiring.
Here’s a list of the 10 best music documentaries we believe every musician should watch.
1. Don’t Look Back (1967)
This insightful documentary follows musical genius, Bob Dylan, as a young man on tour in England in 1965. Filmmaker D. A. Pennebakertracks Dylan from airport to hotel room to stage, capturing the playful yet enigmatic spirit of 60s rock’n’roll.
2. Dig! (2004)
This Sundance-winning rockumentary proves that in the world of 90s indie rock, pretension knows no bounds. Shot over seven years, and cherry picked from thousands of hours of footage, OndiTimoner follows the friendly feud between Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Courtney Taylor of The Dandy Warhols.
3. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (2003)
Get to know the leading band of the 1970s punk rock movement in New York City – The Ramones. Featuring rare archival footage and interviews with band members, this comprehensive look at The Ramones follows Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee from their childhood in Queens to their status as rock icons.
|Poster from the free 1969
Rolling Stones Concert
4. Gimme Shelter (1970)
On December 6, 1969 the Rolling Stones held a free concert at California racetrack, Altamont Speedway. In contrast to the peaceful vibes of Woodstock three months earlier, the concert turns ugly. Even Mick Jagger takes a punch to the face!
5. The Last Waltz (1978)
Shot by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese, ‘The Last Waltz’ captures the final concert of Canadian root rockers, The Band. The extravagant show features memorable performances by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Muddy Waters, among others.
6. Year of the Horse (1997)
Rough-edged and raw, ‘Year of the Horse’ is a genuine depiction of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s 1996 tour. Directed by renowned Jim Jarmusch, the film includes live clips, interviews, and backstage footage from the 70s and 80s.
7. It Might Get Loud (2008)
What happens when three guitar legends from three generations come together to celebrate the electric guitar? This documentary. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the Edge of U2, and Jack White of The White Stripes swap stories, discuss influences, and jam. This one’s a must for the guitar lovers out there.
8. Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads (1991)
This British documentary takes a close look at the beginnings of modern music – the blues. Shot on site in various Northern Mississippi counties, music critic Robert Palmer discovers the eclectic characters that made up the Delta Blues.
9. Under Great White Northern Lights (2009)
This visually striking documentary follows Detroit duo Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes on their Canadian tour. From stadium shows, to spontaneous sing-a-longs on public transport, ‘Under Great White Northern Lights’ showcases the powerful yet playful spirit of the legendary two-piece.
10. Woodstock (1970)
While this isn’t the best-made rockumentary, it does capture one of the most influential events in modern music’s history – the 1969 Woodstock music festival. I mean, what could be better than watching Jimi Hendrix jamming?
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