12 Best Rock & Roll Documentaries

The Last Waltz. Credit: David Gans, FlickrCC

There are countless rock and roll documentaries out there, but here are a dozen of our favs over here at CouchConcertCentral…

  1. The Last Waltz” (1978) – Martin Scorsese’s film documenting The Band’s final concert is often considered one of the greatest concert films of all time.
  2. Gimme Shelter” (1970) – This documentary captures the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert, which ended in tragedy.
  3. Woodstock” (1970) – A classic documentary about the iconic music festival that defined a generation.
  4. The Decline of Western Civilization” (1981) – Penelope Spheeris’ film about the L.A. punk scene is a gritty and raw look at a movement that changed the face of music forever.
  5. Stop Making Sense” (1984) – Jonathan Demme’s film about the Talking Heads’ concert tour is a masterful showcase of the band’s unique style and energy.
  6. Hype!” (1996) – A documentary about the Seattle grunge scene, which explores the rise of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
  7. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” (2004) – A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Metallica’s album “St. Anger,” this documentary delves into the band’s creative process and personal struggles.
  8. Anvil! The Story of Anvil” (2008) – A touching and hilarious documentary about a Canadian heavy metal band’s quest for fame and success.
  9. Searching for Sugar Man” (2012) – A heartwarming film about a mysterious folk singer named Rodriguez, who became a sensation in South Africa but remained unknown in his own country.
  10. 20 Feet From Stardom” (2013) – This documentary shines a spotlight on the backup singers who have played a vital role in some of the biggest hits in rock and roll history.
  11. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” (2016) – Ron Howard’s film explores the Beatles’ early years and their rise to global fame, featuring rare footage and interviews with the band’s surviving members.
  12. Born to Run: Wings for Wheels” (2005) – Explores the making of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run album, as well as Springsteen’s life and career leading up to its release.