10 must-see documentaries for music lovers

sheet music

sheet musicThere are lots of music documentaries out there but we thought we’d give you a list of our ten must-see favourites. If you’re a music lover and haven’t seen all of these films, you have some work to do.

A Band Called Death

Three brothers from Detroit were way ahead of their time musically. They wouldn’t compromise on their name and their music got buried in an attic. It’s an amazing story about sticking to your art until death.

I Dream of Wires

Bob Moog and Don Buchla took different paths in developing modular synthesizers and created a movement that changed music forever. This documentary looks at how they started and interviews innovators in electronic music like Gary Numan, John Foxx, Trent Reznor and Kevin Key. The documentary is 2 hours long, but you can also check out the ‘hardcore edition’ that’s more than 4 hours long – is that enough synth for ya???!?

1991: The Year Punk Broke

You can’t go wrong with a documentary that follows Sonic Youth on tour in Europe in 1991. The film brings along Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Babes in Toyland, Gumball and The Ramones for the music ride.

Blur: No Distance Left To Run

This film puts brit-pop band, Blur, under the microscope during their 2009 reunion and tour.

Anvil! Story of Anvil

A Canadian metal band who has never had any commercial success attempts hits the road for a European tour and record their thirteenth album…and follow their dreams.


Ian Curtis was such a troubled soul. In retrospect, you can see that Joy Division’s music was a manifestation of how he felt. His pain and suffering left us with amazing, beautiful songs.

Filth and the Fury

This Julien Temple directed documentary charts the rise, decline and fall of the Sex Pistols. It has lots of interviews and archive footage.

The Punk Singer

Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill didn’t just live and breath music and activities. She was the poster child for the ‘riot grrrl’ movement.


If you document 7 years of the Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre, what could go wrong, right? Everything… Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Anton Newcombe had a love-hate relationship that was bubbling and waiting to explode.

Shut Up and Play The Hits

When LCD Soundsystem decided to call it quits, they were at the top of their game. This documentary looks at the lead up and last gig for the band before they split (yeah….they’ve reformed since, but heck, it’s a good film).