Five Music Documentaries

In no particular order…

1 – Long Strange Trip

Presented in six parts this is a brilliant Grateful Dead documentary. Each part covers a particular era or aspect of the Dead, including a look at their amazing and loyal fanbase of Deadheads. There are plenty of interviews with those who were actually there and awesome archive footage, some of which was unseen until this came out.

2 – Get Back

After a very long wait from the first cleaned up clips of Let It Be/Get Back footage we were teased with in the Beatles Anthology series this almost eight-hour marathon was definitely worth it. Featuring moments Beatles fans had heard about but never expected to see as well as a few pleasant surprises, this documentary is well crafted (within the confines of the footage they had) and manages to dispel many of the myths surrounding this time in Beatle history.

3 – Summer of Soul

Winner of both an Oscar and a Bafta award this year, this documentary was quite a revelation. Despite a legendary line up the Harlem Cultural Festival appeared to have been lost to music and social history. It celebrated all aspects of black music, culture and fashion during the summer of 1969 and yet an audience member interviewed for this documentary goes as far as thanking the filmmakers as they had begun to think they had imagined the whole thing. There are some truly epic performances featured here, and the accolades bestowed on this film are well deserved.

4 – Hello Quo

I love this documentary. It’s like a love letter to one of my favourite bands. Plenty of interviews and reminiscences, culminating in a Frantic Four reunion. What more do you need? Well, the wealth of extras on the double DVD version for start!

5 – Bros After The Screaming Stops

This may seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. This documentary was one of the most talked-about things when it aired, and probably not for the reasons the band would have liked, and not for the reason I have chosen to include it here. My reason is that it is a really well-crafted documentary. It could have easily been skewed in a way that mocked the subjects but it doesn’t. It just lets them say what they feel the need to say and let’s the audience decide how they want to interpret it. Yes, some bits are beyond parody but it’s enthralling viewing without being disrespectful to how the brothers see themselves.

Author: A-M