Last Updated: January 30th
For music fans, Netflix is a boon, hosting a wide range of different documentaries and concert films about a truly staggering array of different subjects from just about every single genre you can imagine. Classic rock, country, soul, R&B, EDM, jazz: you name it, and there’s probably something for you to find on the streaming service. To help ease the selection process, here are 20 of the best and most compelling music documentaries currently available to watch on Netflix right now.
Fyre: The Greatest Festival That Never Happened
Incidentally, one of two documentaries on the subject, the Netflix version is produced by Jerry Studios and Vice Media, which gives it a behind-the-scenes edge that the Hulu version lacks but also does its best to mitigate the culpability of Jerry Studios’ parent brand, the F*ck Jerry marketing agency. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtain of just how the Fyre Festival went so disastrously wrong, from logistical issues to the unrelenting excess of Fyre founder Billy McFarland.
20 Feet From Stardom
You never notice them but they’re always there. This documentary chronicles the stories of your favorite stars’ backup singers, the folks who touch some of the biggest stages in the world but remain just outside the spotlight. They’re often just as talented, but build careers out of anonymity and some of their stories are just as fascinating as the stars they support.
Anvil: The Story Of Anvil
Not every band “makes it.” That’s a simple yet brutal fact. For every Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones, there are thousands, even millions of other groups that never get past the club stage. Anvil was just one of those groups. Directed by screenwriter Sacha Gervasi, Anvil: The Story Of Anvil tells the tale of an obscure Canadian heavy metal band who reached for the brass ring but never got a hold of it. It’s a tale rarely told, but one common to an untold number of artists over the last several decades.
This 2016 documentary directed by Salima Koroma follows four Korean-American rappers as they maneuver through the complexities of being minorities both in America and in hip-hop culture. Before Awkwafina was flying high with Crazy Rich Asians she was battling for rap clout alongside Dumbfoundead, Rekstizzy, and Lyricks, chasing a dream and trying to defy expectations as they searched for, and proudly displayed, their identity through hip-hop.
For many, John Coltrane remains an enigma. Having died at the all-too-early age of 40 back in 1967, he made a massive imprint in his lifetime through a genre-defining series of albums like Giant Steps and A Love Supreme, while working with the luminaries such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie. Chasing Trane peels back some of the layers of mystery that surround the sax player and serves as a prime introduction for those unfamiliar with his music.