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The best music documentaries

With the isolation restrictions, Netflix traffic is through the roof. Even if you’ve seen the Tiger King twice, watched every Fast ‘n Furious, and gone all the way back to the beginning of Star Trek… some of us are now finding; there’s only so much Netflix to watch. And let’s face it, quite a bit of it is trash.

So, with many people sharing on Facebook lists of their favourite albums, movies, comedians etc – we thought, let’s jump on the bandwagon and spread the word with some incredibly good music documentaries. Hours and hours of amazing escapism here. Enjoy.

1

Devil at the Crossroads
The Robert Johnson Story

Atollon

A look at the short and mysterious life of blues pioneer - Mr Robert Johnson who was said to have made a deal with the Devil at a crossroads in rural Mississippi.

2

The Birth of Cool
Miles David

Atollon

Miles Davis: Horn player, bandleader, innovator. This documentary feature explores archival photos and home movies shot by Miles and his colleagues, his manuscripts and Miles' original paintings, to explore the man behind the music.

3

ZZ Top
That little ol’ band from Texas

Atollon

The story of how three oddball teenage bluesmen became one of the biggest, most beloved bands on the planet.

4

Nos Amos
The Eagles of Death Metal and the Bataclan concert hall

Atollon

13 Nov 2015 - nine terrorists drove into Paris with guns, grenades, and suicide belts. They were there to perpetrate a coordinated, calculated mass murder on behalf of ISIL and, more symbolically, to launch an assault on culture itself, by turning the city's houses of mirth - soccer stadiums, cafés, restaurants, and of course, the Bataclan concert hall

5

Tricky Dick & The Man in Black
Johnny Cash

Atollon

Concerned by a rising rock-n-roll influence on a growing liberal fanbase in 1960s America - 37th President Nixon invited Johnny Cash to the White House to solidify his base in the traditionally more conservative genre of country music. What Cash did instead was subversive and surprised everyone.

6

Quincy
The life of icon Quincy Jones

An intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones. A unique force in music and popular culture for 70 years, Jones has transcended racial and cultural boundaries; his story is inextricably woven into the fabric of America.

7

The Two Killings of Sam Cooke
An investigation into the controversy surrounding Cooke’s murder

Atollon

While Sam Cooke rose to stardom as a soul singer, his outspoken views on civil rights drew attention that may have contributed to his death at age 33.

8

Lemmy
The ultimate unredeemed and unrepentant rocker

Atollon

A documentary on the life and career of revered heavy-metal god Lemmy Kilmister.

9

Sound City
The fabled Californian recording studio

Atollon

The history of Sound City and their huge recording device; exploring how digital change has allowed 'people that have no place' in music to become stars. It follows former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl as he attempts to resurrect the studio back to former glories.

10

Anvil!
Metal on Metal – The Story of Anvil

Atollon

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.

11

Last Days Here
The portrait of cult metal legend Bobby Liebling

Atollon

Documentary follows Bobby Liebling, lead singer of seminal hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he battles decades of hard drug addiction and personal demons to try and get his life back.

12

A Band Called Death
Punk before punk existed – 1970s Detriot

Atollon

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

13

Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten
Cambodian rock music in the 1960s and 1970s, before the Khmer Rouge

Atollon

Through the eyes, words, and songs of its popular music stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, 'Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock & Roll' examines and unravels Cambodia's tragic past, culminating in the genocidal Khmer Rouge's dismantling of the society and murder of two million of its citizens.

14

Woodstock
The three days that defined a generation

Atollon

In August 1969—against a backdrop of a nation in conflict over sexual politics, civil rights, and the Vietnam War—half a million people converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York to hear the concert of a lifetime. What they experienced was a moment that would spark a cultural revolution, changing many of them and the country forever.

15

Dig!
The Brian Jonestown Massacre & The Dandy Warhols

Atollon

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.

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