The thing about documentaries is that they are a really palatable way to learn something new and interesting. Of course, learning new things is important for the growth of our intellect and it gives us something to talk about at parties, which is a winning combo. Plus, you don’t have to do any studying or take notes. Another win! However, over the last year, there have been a number of incredible documentaries that are just plain fun to watch. Music documentaries are always the best, because you can gain new insight into some of your favorite musical artists and learn about new artists you’ve never heard of before. Here are some music documentaries you need to see right now.
Amy is a documentary about the tragic anti-hero of pop music Amy Winehouse. Everyone could tell that she was in for a devastating fall from the perch the record industry and media put her on. However, this documentary explores and proves that Amy wasn’t in it for the fame – she was in it for the music. Amy, which recently won best documentary at the Academy Award, is a powerful film that fans and non-fans of Amy Winehouse will enjoy thoroughly.
Montage of Heck
Kurt Cobain is another anti-hero, but for an entirely different generation. In a way, he was the voice for a disenfranchised youth tired of complacency. Cobain’s lyrics, in a way, could have been the diary of millions of young people looking for their own identity. Montage of Heck is the first official Kurt Cobain documentary and features never before seen video of Kurt in his most intimate and pained moments. All in all, this documentary paints a totally different and beautiful portrait of this music icon.
Janis: Little Girl Blue
Indeed, 2015 and 2016 was the year of documentaries about troubled souls. Music is full of troubled souls, but music is often what heals them. Janis: Little Girl Blue is a beautiful documentary about rock n’ roll’s greatest fallen angels. Indeed, Janis had one of the most beautiful and powerful voices. This documentary explores the tormented life of Janis, her ups and her downs (there were a lot of downs). Of course, everyone knows the ending of this documentary, but it is her life that is so beautiful to watch.
All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records
At one time, Tower Records was the biggest record store in the world. If you wanted to find a particular album, there is a good chance that Tower Records had it. It may be difficult to imagine now, but in the old days, people actually had to visit a record store if they wanted to buy music. This documentary explores the record store’s halcyon days and its ultimate fall, thanks to file sharing sites and the fact that music has been broken up into bits and bites that are regularly shared online. Regardless, it’s a must see documentary for music lovers.
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Nina Simone was also tortured, but she also managed to change music forever. She sang the standards, she sang her own songs, but she always sang in her own distinct powerful style that was easily identifiable. What Happened, Miss Simone is an exploration of her beautiful life, her psychological troubles and her troubles with the times. If you know everything about Nina Simone, you’ll still want to see this documentary. If you don’t know anything about Nina Simone, this documentary may just change your life.