When you watch one of the 11 best music documentaries on Amazon Prime, crank the volume up. They will not only let you gain insight into what music is all about, but will also enable you to hear some really good tunes.
For me, you can get the most information about music acts from books and interviews. One of my all-time favorite bands is Nirvana, and I’ve watched almost everything there is about them (yes even that Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck nonsense). Only after I read Heavier than Heaven by Charles R. Cross, did I manage to better understand the sheer genius that was Kurt Cobain. But, if you don’t have the time (or will) to read books, then music documentaries will do just fine. True music stars are always shocking, mysterious, intriguing and controversial. This seems to be an inevitable part of the package with music geniuses. OK, it is possible to be a nice guy/girl and still be successful (the first one to pop into my mind is Adele), but the true legends are remembered thanks to both their music and their lifestyle. This is why music documentaries are fun to watch. Also, the soundtracks are always good if the director knows what he is doing.
Music documentaries are almost always passion projects. Filmmakers must really love the topic they are researching and filming to do it in a good way. You have to know what the audience wants to see. They want a personal and intimate journey into the lives of their favorite musicians, want to know about the process of making music, what inspires them and similar. At least, that is what I look for in a music documentary. What I don’t look for is made-up facts. Awhile ago I watched an awesome documentary titled Searching for Sugar Man. It was a compelling story about two South Africans on a quest to find Sixto Rodriguez, an American musician who is extremely popular in their native country, although no one knows anything about him. After they found him, they discovered that he never achieved success in the United States and only released two albums in the ’70s before quitting his music career. He wasn’t even aware that his music was so successful in South Africa. As I said, it is an awesome documentary until you find out that the filmmakers decided to play with the facts. It was true that Rodriguez never achieved success in his native country, but he wasn’t such an obscure musician as the documentary tries to show. He spent a decade touring across Australia, enjoying mass popularity with his songs and spending a respectable amount of time on the charts. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I thought at least music documentaries could get their point across without needing to embellish or create myths, like some science and nature documentaries do.
We hope there isn’t anything like that on our list of the 11 best music documentaries on Amazon Prime. If you are into some other topics, make sure you don’t miss our list of the 35 Best Documentaries on Amazon Prime as well. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)‘s Prime Video is now included in its Prime Membership, which also offers its famous 2-day shipping perks (1-day shipping has also arrived in select cities). Prime Video is now available in more than 200 countries, though the selection varies by country (we can only vouch that the following documentaries are available on the service in the U.S).
To compile our list, we went through close to 150 documentaries in the Music and Performing Arts category on Amazon Prime. After checking each documentary for its Amazon rating and the number of people who rated it (those with 5 or fewer ratings didn’t qualify) we used that data to arrive at our ranking. Check out the list, beginning on the next page.