And thats what makes music documentaries so special. We may recognize a song, or a verse, but diving deeper into what went on behind the music - who these voices are as people - often gives further perspective on the music we listen to. There have been a number of music documentaries over the years, exploring everything from the mental state of a musician to the the struggles being on the road and the relationships between band members. But what usually makes certain music documentaries stand out even further are the passionate portrayals of their subjects, and a story that needed to be heard. Here weve compiled our choices for the 10 best music documentaries, and though many more could have made this list, we did our best to include areas from all different tastes of music. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below:
10. The Devil and Daniel Johnstonchronicles the life of Daniel Johnston, a lo-fi, pop musician diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Johnston worked out of his basement and started his career creating tapes that he would hand out to people he met in the late 80s (and still records today). His story is one of the more interesting out there, as his fame led to a following who termed him as an absolute genius. But the cult musician suffered severe mental illness, along with an obsession with the devil.
The 2005 documentary tells the entire story, from Johnstons childhood up to the present day filming, and it is a story that both dives deep into the artists mental illness and the trials newfound fame put him through. It stays in range of a being a respectful portrayal of the musician, but introduces a powerful back story to the artist behind the music, and where his work is derived from. The documentary was four years in the making, and at Sundance, the film won the 2005 Documentary Directing Award. With the films success, it prompted even further interest in Johnston and his music, which he continues to perform.