The best music documentaries on Netflix US right now

Bob Dylan poster
(Image credit: Netflix)

There's a whole host of amazing stuff to get stuck into on Netflix right now. Almost too much, in fact. We can't be the only ones who end up scrolling aimlessly for so long that we eventually sit back, defeated, settling on Schitt's Creek for the 100th time, bewildered by the pure amount of stuff at our fingertips.

Well, that's where we come in. From Metallica's struggles making St Anger to the rollercoaster life of Keith Richards, there are a whole host of music documentaries to lose yourself in, and we've compiled the best of what you can stream right now.

Here, the best music documentaries on Netflix in the US.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019)

More cerebral than your average music documentary, this film sees Martin Scorsese tell the story of Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour using a mix of "fact and fantasy" and archive footage. It gets weird, chaotic and a little difficult to follow – so a fitting tribute to Dylan's music it most certainly is. 

Watch on Netflix

Keith Richards: Under The Influence (2015)

The seemingly irrepressible guitarist who can't be killed by conventional means comes across exactly as you'd expect in this doc. Yes there are tales of drink, drugs and all things decadent, but underneath it are the musical anecdotes and passion that reveal Keef's continued devotion to the Stones and their legacy. 

Watch on Netflix

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010)

Celebrating the Canadian trio's unlikely journey from misfits to a global phenomenon. At a succinct 107 minutes Beyond The Lighted Stage belies the band's own mammoth creations, cramming in a full history as well as plenty of live footage and famous fans declaring their adulation of all things Rush. A beautifully-handled documentary made all the more powerful in the wake of Neil Peart's death. 

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ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas (2019)

In terms of things that make a great music documentary, this one ticks all the boxes: it’s got candid interviews, never-before-seen archive footage and tributes fro, celebrity fans. Most importantly, it tells the story of how three socially awkward teenage bluesmen became one of the best-loved Southern rock bands on the planet. 

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Now More Than Ever (2016)

Chronicling the history of Chicago from their 1967 beginnings in the Windy City through to the present, Now More Than Ever inevitably centres on mainstays Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane and James Pankow but delves into the array of members who have come through the ranks to add their own flavours to the band's story.

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Echo In The Canyon (2019)

“What a long, strange trip it’s been.” The Laurel Canyon sound started with breezy sunshine and ended in existential darkness – much like the 60s themselves. Here, a look back at where and how the historic music scene sprang to life, featuring music from The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas And The Papas. 

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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. 

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Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation (2019)

Released to mark 50 years of the legendary Woodstock Festival, this film from Barak Goodman uses archive footage and commentary to tell the story of Woodstock from the point of view of the people who were actually there in the audience when it all went down. Where this documentary excels is in capturing the freedom and passion the festival inspired within its audience and community.

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FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

Not so much a music documentary as a music festival documentary, this jaw-dropping tale of how quickly things can fall apart is as cringe-inducing as it is compelling. Think Lord Of The Flies meets Love Island. And you’ll finally get all those Evian memes.

Watch on Netflix

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.