9 Must-Watch Music Documentaries You Can Stream Online

Not sure if you want to listen to music or watch TV? Choose both with these excellent documentaries of musicians and producers.

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If your as excited by the stories of your favorite songs as the songs themselves, music documentaries can be a great way to feel even closer to the music you love.

Even documentaries about artists you’re not particularly fond of can make for some amazing stories.

Have you already run through all the interesting music documentaries on your streaming service(s) of choice? Or are you just looking for something new?

Here are some excellent music documentaries you can stream online right now.

1. Muscle Shoals

Muscle Shoals Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Rolling Stones Movie HD

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Is this documentary about Muscle Shoals, the town in Alabama, or is it about Muscle Shoals Sound Studio? Is it about Rick Hall, the “Father of Muscle Shoals Music,” or is about his FAME Studios?

The answer to all of them is “yes,” and that’s part of what makes it a great documentary.

2. The US vs. John Lennon

The US vs. John Lennon - Trailer

No, this isn’t really about the Beatles, nor is it really about John Lennon the musician. Instead it’s about his political activism following the Beatles. That said, Lennon’s music fills the soundtrack, which alone makes it worth seeing.

3. Nas: Time Is Illmatic

NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC - Official Trailer (Tribeca Film)

One of the unfortunate facts of hip hop documentaries is that too large a number of them are about people who are no longer around. Fortunately, this isn’t one of them.

Nas: Time is Illmatic follows the rapper’s early days leading up to his influential debut album.

4. Festival Express

Festival Express Trailer HQ

This film follows The Grateful Dead, The Band, Janis Joplin, and more on a Canadian train tour.

While the highlights are the interspersed performances, this is also as close to seeing what touring with these musicians would be like, and as close to it as many viewers would ever want to get.

5. Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake

Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake - Trailer

Another documentary that won’t exactly cheer you up, Before I Wake tells the story of Tupac Shakur’s final days.

Despite the fact that this chronicles the rapper’s death, there is some studio footage of Shakur at work as well as interviews with Eazy E, Jesse Jackson, and others.

6. Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused

Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused (Trailer)

This isn’t the definitive Led Zeppelin documentary. It’s unauthorized and features no interviews or commentary from the band, but whether you’re a hardcore fan or curiously investigating the band, you’re bound to encounter some new information.

7. 808

"808" (Official Trailer)

Without the Roland TR-808 drum machine, electronic as we know it would probably still exist, but with a wildly different sound signature.

This documentary tells the story of this iconic piece of hardware, as well as its impact on not just dance music, but hip hop, pop, and rock music as well.

8. NWA & Eazy-E: Kings of Compton

NWA & EAZY-E: KINGS OF COMPTON Official Trailer

Yes, this film was released to capitalize on the release of Straight Outta Compton. That said, it’s actually got decent reviews. If you’re not familiar with the subject matter, it’s a decent starting place, and more knowledgeable fans may still be able to glean some new details.

9. Rush: 2112 and Moving Pictures

Rush - 2112 & Moving Pictures Classic Album - Trailer

With the recent passing of drummer Neil Peart, you may be looking to either revisit come classic Rush albums or even look into them for the first time.

As the name implies, this installment of the Classic Albums series looks at the production of one of the group’s most ambitious recordings, 2112, as well as one of its best-loved in Moving Pictures.

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