After interviewing Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo about the forthcoming release of Jaco: The Film, a documentary about legendary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius he’s producing, it got us thinking about the music documentary in general. There have certainly been some well-known and acclaimed music documentaries produced throughout the years; The Last Waltz, Madonna: Truth or Dare and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster all come to mind. And while all these films are great in their own right – they all focus on mainstream, popular artists with huge followings. What about all the other fascinating documentaries surrounding some of music’s lesser-known but no less important artists? The unheralded musicians and producers and engineers behind the scenes? They may not all be household names, but that doesn’t diminish their impact in the world of music. There’s been a ton of amazing documentaries made in the last few years that have put a spotlight on these artists, singers, musicians and producers so we thought it would be a good time to compile a list of our favorites, and call some more attention to these talented filmmakers and artists. From Searching for Sugar Man to Last Days Here to Standing in the Shadows of Motown, there’s no shortage of good stuff out there. Here’s a list of 10 Great Music Documentaries You May Have Missed. So yeah…now you know.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012)
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, it tells the story of Sixto Rodriguez – a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived career in the early 70s with two well-received but non-commercial albums. Unbeknownst to him, he had become a pop music icon in South Africa (as big as Elvis or The Beatles) and an inspiration for generations.
You’re Gonna Miss Me (2005)
Directed by Keven McAlester, the documentary outlines the story of psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson, detailing his rise in music with the 13th Floor Elevators, his lengthy institutionalization and his descent into poverty and filth as his brother struggles with their religious mother to improve Roky’s care and condition.