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Best Music Documentaries on Netflix to Stream Right Now

All of our favorite artists struggled along the way to gain the big names they have today. These music documentaries on Netflix show exclusive footage of some of the greatest artists ever.

Everyone starts from the bottom. Everyone. Many artists started from the bottom before they became hugely successful. They've gone through tough obstacles, major struggles, and much more that continuously pushed them down. But they managed to surpass all of that and reach the peak of their career. And many of these artists are truly inspirational and show us what hard work looks like in the end.

We were grateful enough for many of these successful artists to document huge parts of their life to show viewers how they got to where they are now. Showing both the stage life and personal life, us viewers are lucky to watch how some of our favorite artists came to be. And if you're interested on how the major musical artists gained success or struggled through what during their time, these are the best music documentaries on Netflix to stream and watch ASAP.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Legendary singer Nina Simone was widely famous in the earlier years for her extraordinary and distinct voice. Her songs like "Feeling Good," "I Put a Spell On You," "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free," and many more are tunes that were loved by thousands of people and were amongst the greatest hits of the 70s. Even to this day, people listen to her music and do covers of a few of her most popular tunes. And her documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, follows her life on and also off stage.

Through never-before-heard recording and rare archival footage, viewers can get an inside look in the life of the famous Simone. She was also a passionate activist who fought for her rights during the time. As famous and brilliant she was, she was still caught up in conflicts for her identity.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Know the heavy metal band Anvil? They’re listened to by so many fans who can truly appreciate good metal music. They have great songs like “Metal on Metal,” “March of the Crabs,” “Badass Rock ’n’ Roll,” and many more that they were praised for. When the band was formed in 1981, they became the “demigods of Canadian metal,” when they dropped their album in 1982, Metal on Metal.

They were inspired by other metal bands like Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, and went on and sold millions of records. Despite becoming super successful, Anvil took a different route, and that's what their documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, shows us. From one of the greatest music documentaries on Netflix, the documentary shows how the band coped with being out dated and with obsoleteness, as well as recovering from a tour and managing to record a new album.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

George Harrison was a major English guitarist, singer-songwriter, and even producer who’s gone beyond expectations. He gained his fame from being the lead guitarist in the iconic rock band The Beatles. While going solo, he dropped albums like Cloud Nine, All Things Must Pass, and others which increased his fame even more. And if you’re either a fan of The Beatles or Harrison himself, this is definitely a great watch.

His documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, shows us his early life in Liverpool, becoming successful through Beatlemania, his travels in India (which influenced his music), and his significance as a former member of The Beatles. It also includes exclusive footage and interviews of Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Dhani Harrison, Paul McCartney, and other artists and major figures.  

Beware of Mr. Baker

Founder of the rock band Cream, Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker was an English rock drummer who was widely famous for killing it on the drums. So many people even viewed him as the best drummer ever. And this documentary explains it all.

Among the best music documentaries on Netflix to watch right now, Beware of Mr. Baker is about the legendary drummer Ginger Baker and his history of how he became to be. It examines how the drummer himself looks back at his crazy, musical career with Cream and Blind Faith, which is another band he was part of. It even takes us to his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune, as well as his current life.

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

Canadian rock band Rush is seen to be one of the most influential bands ever. They’ve ranked third for most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums ever, after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Even though they were widely huge and had tons and tons of screaming fans, they were ignored by critics and were always looked down upon by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

From one of the biggest music documentaries on Netflix ever, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage allows viewers to explore the iconic band and their 40-year music career. Through never-before-seen footage and interviews with many of our favorite artists today, we get an inside look on one of the world’s biggest cult bands.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream

American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor Thomas “Tom” Earl Petty was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers which formed in 1976. He and his band released major songs like “Learning to Fly,” “Refugee,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “You Got Lucky,” and much more that people still listen to today. He was a very remarkable individual who inspired other bands.

However, their amazing documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream is one of the greatest music documentaries on Netflix ever. It explores the history and life of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as well as Petty’s famous collaborations and even the notorious clashes he’s had with the record industry. Inspiring, iconic, and certainly head-banging, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream shows us a side of the band like we've never seen before.

History of the Eagles

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Eagles are an American rock band that originated in Los Angeles in 1971. The members include Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. As they continued to drop albums like Hotel California, Desperado, Hell Freezes Over, Eagles, and many more, they were constantly being praised for the awesome music they continuously kept putting out. And as amazing as they truly were, their documentary, History of the Eagles, shows us even more of their talents.

The History of the Eagles is based around every member of the rock band. From their individual stories to their band in the music industry as a whole, we’re able to view them from a different perspective. For one of America’s most successful bands, their documentary is the perfect watch to see how a rock band such as the Eagles are perceived in the world of music. 

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Known to be one of the biggest female American rock singer-songwriters ever in her era, Janis Lyn Joplin was literally huge in rock 'n' roll. In fact, she was seen as one of the major females singers in the rock genre. When she dropped songs like “Cry Baby,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Kozmic Blues,” and many more, she inspired so many young women to shoot for the stars and achieve their dreams just like how she did. Even after her tragic death at the age of 27 in 1970, she’s still loved by so many fans who still listen to her music to this day. Not to mention, she’s part of the 27 club.

And as extraordinary as she was, one of the greatest music documentaries on Netflix, Janis: Little Girl Blue, shows us Janis on stage as an energetic, rock singer who projected an image of being high and happy-go-lucky. We also get to see her constantly in and out of addiction and expressing her emotions through art. And singer Cat Power (Chan Marshall) does an amazing job of recreating Janis’ voice in readings from her letters. 

Gaga: Five Foot Two

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, professionally known as Lady Gaga, is a major American singer-songwriter who continues to inspire so many people today. She’s seen as an artist for her unique and creative music as well as distinct sense of fashion. While she’s dropped amazing songs like “Bad Romance,” “Paparazzi,” “Poker Face,” “Love Game,” and many more, fans have watched Lady Gaga grow from the start of her career to her beautiful-self today.

Gaga: Five Foot Two is a documentary based on her life and how she became who she is. Among the music documentaries on Netflix to watch, in this documentary, we follow Lady Gaga through releasing her new album to preparing for her Super Bowl halftime show, as well as her struggles both mentally and psychically. After watching her documentary, you’ll never view Lady Gaga the same anymore.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Last, but certainly not least, Metallica. Yes, the legendary heavy metal band that brought fans together through their head-banging, hardcore music. There are even Metallica songs to listen to when you're angry. While the band was formed by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield, many new and old members came and go like Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, Dave Mustaine, and others. The band itself has gone through enough to create a documentary based on the phenomenal heavy metal band.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is a collection of footages that feature the band on stage, a closer look on every member of the band, as well as the struggles the band as a whole went through. Starring James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett, they give us exclusive interviews about Metallica and their personal lives. If you’re a huge fan of Metallica, don’t skip out on one of the greatest music documentaries on Netflix ever—it’ll even increase the love you have for them.

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