10 Netflix MUSIC DOCUMENTARIES YOU JUST CAN’T MISS

By Bandook - March 4, 2018

Actor Christopher Walken couldn’t have said it better at the Oscars this year, when he said, “When words fail, music speaks”. But despite that being true in most or all of our cases, how many of us know the musicians behind some of our favourite music? It’s a part of our lives in some way or the other. And while biopics on musicians dramatise portions of those great lives for us, it is music documentaries that hold us because of it being as close to true-to-life feel as one can get.
In fact, here’s a list of 10 Netflix documentaries on musicians, that you must not miss.

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WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE
ABOUT: The Doors
Jim Morrison’s alcohol and drug-fuelled excesses led to his death in 1971. But before that, he put out music with his band that we still remember to this day. The documentary follows his life, adding in exclusive footages of rehearsals, tours, his first few gigs and the band’s first album, also snippets of live performances are shown, one of which is when during a performance in Miami, Jim Morrison was arrested for indecency. You know the one we’re talking about.
WHY WATCH: Because it brings the involvement of watching rehearsals and performances to another level and makes you want to listen to The Doors’ songs on loop. It will definitely ‘Light Your Fire’.

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BACK AND FORTH
ABOUT: Foo Fighters
Formed by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain, the Washington band has gone from success to success – with four of its albums winning Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album. Back And Forth talks about the 16-year journey of the band (the documentary was released in 2011).
WHY WATCH: Depicts the journey of the band, right from how it was formed. This documentary is quite fun to watch and it is highly recommended too.

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LITTLE GIRL BLUE
ABOUT: Janis Joplin
The American singer-songwriter is widely known as one of the most successful and widely-known female rock stars of her era. After releasing three albums, she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.
WHY WATCH: This documentary talks about how Janis Joplin arose to be a star, with reference to the letters that she wrote to her family, friends and collaborators.

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DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY
ABOUT: Journey
The American rock band comprised of former members of Santana, Frumious Bandersnatch and its new lead vocalist Arnel Pineda. The title of the docu comes from one of their most successful songs. However, this documentary focuses on Arnel Pineda, who was brought up by the band to be the new voice of the band.
WHY WATCH: This documentary takes you on an amazing Journey (No pun intended) to the band’s tours and performances

 

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A BAND CALLED DEATH
ABOUT: Death
Who doesn’t love a little punk rock? Well, people didn’t really like it back in the 1970s. And that’s because everything was all Disco and Motown back then. In walks Death, a Detroit rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1971 by brothers Bobby (bass, vocals), David (guitar), and Dannis (drums) Hackney. This band made punk rock music before the genre even existed. Yes, Way before The Sex Pistols, or The Ramones or even Bad Brain!
WHY WATCH: This documentary presents as to how Punk rock was dealt with before it came into existence; it also illustrates the success that this band derived later, later as in 3 decades later! How did it happen? It all started when a dusty 1974 demo tape made it way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (oh, let’s face it…the first punk band!)

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MISS SHARON JONES!
ABOUT: Sharon Lafaye Jones
An American soul and funk singer, she was the lead singer of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, a soul and funk band based in Brooklyn, New York. This documentary is about the lead singer fighting pancreatic cancer

WHY WATCH: It emboldens you to conquer the obstacles and endure as the singer did.

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20 FEET FROM STARDOM
ABOUT: Backup singers
20 Feet from Stardom is a 2013 American documentary film. The film is all about the behind-the-scenes of backup singers and stars Darlene LoveJudith HillMerry ClaytonLisa FischerTáta Vega, and Jo Lawry, among many others. On March 2, 2014, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.
WHY WATCH: The playback singers live a world that is almost but not in the spotlight. This documentary represents the story of their lives as nobody has any idea about who they are or what they do.

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WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
ABOUT: Nina Simone
She was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Simone mastered a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with ‘Little Girl Blue.’
WHY WATCH: The documentary has unveiled her unmitigated ego and her absurd behaviour. It depicts how an artist can be just perfect in his/her art but can still cripple him/ herself by feeding off of destructive ego and attitude.

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KURT AND COURTNEY
ABOUT: Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Hole’s Courtney Love.
If you are a Cobain fan, his death on April 8, 1994, will be a day you mourn him like he was your own. That’s the thrall Kurt had over anyone who heard his music. Initial forensic analysis at the time claimed that he had killed himself on April 5. This documentary talks about how the death of Kurt Cobain affected many lives, including the lives of his family and a widowed wife.
WHY WATCH: It also shows the uneasy relationship between Kurt Cobain and his wife, Courtney Love. This documentary was shot and published without her consent. Critics have acclaimed that the documentary is biased but it’s worth watching.

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MARLEY
ABOUT: Bob Marley
The Lion From ZIon, his legend and his legacy is known all over the world. Writing touching and relatable songs that were profound in context, his death brought the world to tears. His universal appeal and social and political hold was strong.
WHY WATCH: It takes you on an adventure of Bob Marley’s life right from when he was born to where he died due to an illness.

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