The best music documentaries on Amazon Prime UK right now

sound city poster
(Image credit: Roswell Films)

A quick search of "music" under Amazon Prime will present you with a deluge of suggestions, most of which (if we're honest) are pretty poor; consisting of unofficial, low-budget retrospective reviews. 

However, among the nonsense are some solid nuggets of gold, and we've found the best – sometimes controversial – music documentaries that delve into the deepest recesses of some of the world's biggest acts.

Here, the best music docs (plus one concert film) you can stream on Amazon Prime right now.

Sound City (2013)

Dave Grohl’s directorial debut looks at the famous Los Angeles recording studio where everyone from Metallica and Nirvana to Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac made some of rock music’s most famous albums. Centred around the studio’s renowned Neve console, it’s a real celebration of the creative process in an era of often sterile digital technology. 

Rammstein: Paris (2017)

Sure, none of us can go to gigs at the moment. No bother – now you can recreate one of the rock world's most beguiling stage shows from the comfort of your own home. Filmed during Rammstein's Made In Germany tour, this set from the Bercy Arena in Paris provides a jaw-dropping spectacle. As you might expect.

Death By Metal (2018)

Much like the legendary Florida death metal band, this documentary of Death's history is visceral, intricate and ambitious. Going into detail on the life and music produced by late enigmatic prodigy Chuck Schuldiner and his conveyor belt of bandmates, this is the best doc made on extreme music and a must for all heavy enthusiasts. 

Last Days Here (2011)

Much in the vein of Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, this documentary on doom metal pioneer Bobby Liebling paints a tragic picture of a forgotten rocker who's given another shot. Pentagram's music gives Last Days Here a top soundtrack but while it thrives on doom and gloom, this redemptive story is as inspiring as it gets.

Kurt & Courtney (1998)

This highly controversial documentary on the death of the Nirvana singer looks at the assertions that the suicide was actually a murder perpetrated by his wife, Courtney Love. Whether or not you believe in director Nick Broomfield's argument, the film's notoriety ensures people still watch and talk about it 20 years on. 

Gimme Danger (2016)

Going in-depth on what Iggy Pop refers to as “the greatest rock n' roll band ever”, this tale of The Stooges is as wild and abrasive as you'd expect from the Michigan firebrands. There's a good chance you'll learn something but mostly you'll just be enraptured by Iggy's mental stage presence. 

Finding Joseph I: The HR From Bad Brains Documentary (2016)

Everyone from Chino Moreno and Ian Mackaye to former bandmates lift the veil on the idiosyncratic frontman of the Bad Brains. Though there is inevitably hero worship and reverence for his influence, the documentary pulls no punches when asking questions about HR's abnormal and troubling behaviour over the years.

All Ages: The Boston Hardcore Film (2012)

Though not as famous as the New York scene, Boston developed a unique take on the genre, with its early years explored in All Ages. The grainy live footage and pulverising soundtrack juxtapose the thoughtful interviews of those who were there.

Soaring Highs And Brutal Lows: The Voices Of Women In Metal (2015)

Giving the notion that metal is only for sweaty dudes a vicious kick to the nether regions, Soaring Highs... interviews the likes of Doro, Floor Jansen of Nightwish and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy for a compelling insight into what makes them tick as well as giving a history of the genre's other pioneers.

Biggie & Tupac (2002)

Another documentary from Nick Broomfield, this time trying to unravel the still unsolved murders of the friends turned rivals who dominated rap music in the 1990s. As with Kurt & Courtney, the film has been criticised for the evidence it presents, but it's a better use of your time than watching the biopics Notorious and All Eyez On Me.

27: Gone Too Soon (2018)

Commemorating the frightening number of stars who died at the age of 27 – from Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison to Amy Winehouse and Cobain – this new film examines the reasons why the music business takes such a heavy toll. Young musicians, experts and seasoned pros like Gary Numan give their views on the destructive side of fame. 

Hired Gun (2016)

Produced by former session man Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch, this film takes the spotlight away from the stars and shines it instead on the mercenary musicians who make ply their trade playing back-up. Though there a few household names and stories such as Jason Newsted, the tales of the unheard players are just as enthralling. 

Searching For Sugar Man (2012)

“This is all too strange to be true.” This film picked up some serious props when it was crowned Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards. When two filmmakers go hunting for more information about their mysterious musical hero Rodriguez, they quickly find that the myths that circulated his life – and death – aren’t quite what they seem. 

Lemmy (2010)

This intimate documentary follows the late Motorhead founder Lemmy for three years, providing candid access and insight into his life as one of rock's defining figures. Includes interviews with Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Nikki Sixx, Scott Ian, Marky Ramone and many more.

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.