JamBase Guide To Streaming Music-Related Films & Docu-Series

JamBase curated this list of music-related films to watch while staying home and practicing social distancing due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Some of the entries came from the comments in this Instagram post we shared asking for suggestions — you can comment there to let us know what’s missing. So spend some time watching these music-related films and docu-series while we all wait for our chance to go see live music again.

Netflix

  • 20 Feet From Stardom “Winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this film takes a look at the world of backup vocalists and the legends they support.”
  • 27 Gone Too Soon “Explore the circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths at 27 of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.”
  • Amy “[Amy Winehouse] had a voice for the ages. A mind of her own. And demons that never let her rest. The devastating inside story.”
  • Chasing Trane “Featuring interviews, insights and archival footage, this documentary aims to reveal how historical events shaped the music of John Coltrane.”
  • Clive Davis: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives “This music-driven documentary charts Clive Davis’ 50-year career as one of the world’s most influential record moguls.”
  • Echo in the Canyon “An affectionate documentary looks back at the mid-1960s, when Hollywood’s Laurel Canyon was a creative nexus for young, innovative musicians.”
  • FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened “He promised supermodels and yachts, but delivered tents and cheese sandwiches. How one man engineered a music festival disaster.”
  • Gaga: Five Foot Two “Follow pop provocateur Lady Gaga as she releases a new album, preps for her Super Bowl halftime show, and confronts physical and emotional struggles.”
  • Hip-Hop Evolution “Hosted by rapper and broadcaster Shad, this documentary series won a Peabody Award and an International Emmy.”
  • Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé “This intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé’s celebrated 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.”
  • I Called Him Morgan “Decades after serving a prison sentence for killing jazz musician Lee Morgan, his common-law wife, Helen, reflects on their lives and his legacy.”
  • John & Yoko Above Us Only Sky “Featuring interviews and never-before-seen footage, this film tells the story behind John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s seminal 1971 album, Imagine.”
  • Keith Richards: Under The Influence “Iconic. Legendary. Guitar god. A rare, intimate journey with the man behind all the myths.”
  • Miles Davis: The Birth Of The Cool “Unpack the mythology of Miles Davis and learn the true story of a jazz legend with never-before-seen footage and celebrity interviews.”
  • Miss Americana Taylor Swift “In this revealing documentary, Taylor Swift embraces her role as a songwriter and performer — and as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.”
  • Quincy “This documentary profiles music and culture icon Quincy Jones, offering unprecedented access to his private life and stories from his unparalleled career.”
  • ReMastered Collection: (Who Shot The Sheriff, The Two Killings Of Sam Cooke, Devil At The Crossroads, etc.) “ReMastered investigates high-profile events affecting some of the most legendary names in music”
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese “In an alchemic mix of fact and fantasy, Martin Scorsese looks back at Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour and a country ripe for reinvention.”
  • Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage “Celebrate the remarkable 40-year career of influential Canadian rockers Rush with this documentary, which details the band’s formation and evolution.”
  • Searching For Sugarman “Decades after Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez disappeared following the commercial failure of his albums, two fans try to track down their idol.”
  • Springsteen On Broadway “Bruce Springsteen shares personal stories from his life and acoustic versions of some of his best-known songs in an intimate one-man show.”
  • The Other One: The Long Strange Trip Of Bob Weir “This chronicle of Bob Weir highlights his brotherhood with Jerry Garcia and his success as a member of one of the world’s most influential bands.”
  • The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America “Follow the Rolling Stones as the iconic group breaks new ground in Latin America, wrapping a 10-city tour as the first-ever rock band to play in Cuba.”
  • What Happened Miss Simone? “Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.”
  • What We Started “DJs and industry insiders offer a backstage pass to the world of electronic dance music, reflecting on its radical origins and the future of the genre.”
  • Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation “For the 50th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock festival, organizers and attendees reminisce about one of the defining moments of the 1960s.”
  • ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas “This documentary delves into the mystique behind the blues-rock trio and explores how the enigmatic band created their iconic look and sound.”

Amazon Prime Video (Rent/Stream)

  • Between Me & My Mind “Driven by a constant need to create, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio takes on new projects, including some of his most personal music to date as well as Phish’s ambitious New Year’s Eve show at Madison Square Garden.”
  • Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns “Ken Burns’s eight-part, 16-hour documentary series, Country Music, chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form, focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created it.”
  • Festival Express “In the summer of 1970, some of the era’s biggest rock stars took to the rails for Festival Express, a multi-artist, multi-city concert tour that captured the spirit and imagination of a generation. What made it unique was that it was portable; for five days, the bands and performers lived, slept, rehearsed and let loose aboard a customized train that traveled from Toronto, to Winnipeg, to Calgary, with each stop culminating in a mega-concert. The entire experience was filmed both off-stage and on, but the extensive footage and sound tapes of the events remained locked away for decades, only recently having been rediscovered and restored. The film Festival Express is a momentous achievement in rock film archaeology which combines the long-lost material with contemporary interviews that add important context to the event nearly 35 years after originally being filmed.”
  • Heima (Sigur Ros) “In the endless magic hour of the Icelandic summer, Sigur Ros played a series of concerts around their homeland. Combining both the biggest and smallest shows of their career, the entire tour was filmed, and provides a unique insight into one of the world’s shyest and least understood bands captured live in their natural habitat.”
  • History Of The Eagles “2-part documentary telling the story of iconic rock band Eagles.”
  • Jazz (Ken Burns) “The story, sound and soul of a nation come together in the most American of art forms: Jazz. Ken Burns celebrates the music’s soaring achievements, from its origins in blues and ragtime through swing, bebop, and fusion.”
  • Long Strange Trip “For 30 years, the Grateful Dead were the most unlikely success story in rock and roll. At the peak of their popularity, they were the highest-grossing concert act in America, but they did it by breaking all the rules.”
  • Muscle Shoals “Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Rick Hall brought black and white together to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the ‘Muscle Shoals sound’ and The Swampers, the house band at FAME Studios …”
  • Pearl Jam Twenty “In honor of Pearl Jam’s twentieth anniversary, Cameron Crowe created a definitive portrait of the seminal band with over 1, 200 hours of rarely and never-before-seen footage, plus 24 hours of recently shot footage.”
  • Sound City “Directed by Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, Sound City tells the story of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest recording studio and the musical magic it continues to inspire.”
  • Stop Making SenseStop Making Sense is director Jonathan Demme’s remarkable concert film that captures the enormous energy and joyous highs of the Talking Heads live performance.”
  • The Last Waltz “Martin Scorsese’s rockumentary intertwines footage from The Band’s incredible farewell tour with probing backstage interviews and featured performances by Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr and other rock legends.

Hulu

  • Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace “A documentary presenting the live recording of Aretha Franklin’s album Amazing Grace at The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972.”
  • Bad Reputation “The life and career of Joan Jett from her early years ripping it up onstage as the founder and backbone of hard-rock legends The Runaways, to her solo career and the enduring presence as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and mentor.”
  • Jaco Jaco tells the story of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who single-handedly changed the course of modern music by redefining the sound and the role of the electric bass guitar.”
  • Janis: Little Girl Blue “Academy Award nominated director Amy Berg strips away Janis [Joplin’s] rock ‘n roll persona to reveal the raw, sensitive, innocent, uncensored and powerful woman behind the legend.”
  • Shut Up And Play The Hits “LCD [Soundsystem’s] final show at MSG: frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top.”
  • Standing In The Shadows Of Motown “In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit’s thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company – Motown. This documentary tells the unforgettable story of the Funk Brothers.”
  • The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years “In 1962 four young men John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to form the 20th century musical phenomenon known as, ‘The Beatles.’ The band stormed Europe in 1963, and, in 1964, they conquered America.”
  • The Quiet One “He was the bassist for The Rolling Stones and known as the ‘quiet one.’ Now, Bill Wyman speaks out about life in the world’s greatest rock band through a tour of his personal archive.”
  • The Wrecking Crew “Music lovers will be astonished at the influence The Wrecking Crew wielded over rock and pop music in the 1960s and early 1970s. These unsung instrumentalists were the de-facto backing band on hit records by The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, Elvis, The Monkees and many more. These dedicated musicians brought the flair and musicianship that made the American “West Coast Sound” a dominant cultural force around the world.”

Trailers Playlist

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