The best music-related films and TV shows to watch on Netflix UK

Whether you're in the temper for a  popular culture romp, a biography of an icon or an in-depth examination of a particular genre, Netflix has built up quite a repertoire when it comes to music TV shows and films.

Having already cast an eye over the best music-related films to be had to flow on Amazon Prime UK, our consideration now turns to its competitor. Netflix has produced a volley of its personal unique tune TV shows and documentaries (some of which are included on this record), in addition to harvesting some absolute treats from elsewhere.

More than there being one thing on this listing for everybody, we think every music fan will in finding one thing in each of those alternatives regardless of their tastes.

Inventing David Geffen

Whether you imagine media magnate David Geffen a rags to riches sensation worthy of admiration for his unmitigated success in the worlds of track and film or a ruthless businessman cashing in on the ability of others, the tale of his lifestyles, as he puts it forth, is an interesting popular culture journey each bit as entertaining as the acts he represented.

This documentary options Geffen himself recalling his impoverished formative years in Brooklyn prior to making his method to LA and stealthily operating his way up from mailroom boy at the William Morris Agency (a job he acquired through falsifying academic credentials) to skill agent after noticing that "they earn the most while knowing the least".

After going solo, Geffen managed acts including Laura Nyro and Crosby, Stills and Nash. By the time he was 30, he had based Asylum Records signing artists akin to The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell. Mitchell's recollection of writing Free Man in Paris about Geffen and his continued bashfulness about the music provides a short lived glimpse in the back of his moderately built facade.

With a lifestyles and occupation that encompasses his eponymous label, house to a diverse roster with the likes of Nirvana, Elton John, Guns N' Roses, Peter Gabriel and Olivia Newton-John; founding Dreamworks film studios; and nearly marrying Cher, there's no shortage of glittering talking heads who gush over – and now and again critique – Geffen. The outcome, fact or fiction, is a fascinating deal with for song fanatics.

 Tick, Tick... Boom! 

A musical about the technique of writing a musical: if the thought of Broadway legends all at once breaking into a track about the futility of eating Sunday brunch in a New York diner fills you with dread, then you could think that Tick, Tick... Boom! is not for you. 

But even supposing Lin-Manuel Miranda's movie about composer Jonathan Larson (performed through an inconceivably gifted Andrew Garfield) sooner than he accomplished the mega luck of Rent would possibly seem all showbiz jazz arms and heavy vibrato, it's in truth an enticing reflection of a musician desperately in search of inspiration while suffering against the brutality of failure and the ingenious slog.

The narrative handiest examines Larson's lifestyles as he works on Superbia – a failed futuristic rock opera reimagining of George Orwell's 1984. It's interspersed with songs, both staged and interpolated, from what would be his subsequent venture, a one-man show known as Tick, Tick… Boom! about the existential dread he felt about turning 30 with out reaching luck in his field, opening with the lament that he would soon be "older than Stephen Sondheim when he had his first Broadway show, older than Paul McCartney when he wrote his last song with John Lennon".

Larson did, after all, go on to be incredibly a hit, but he sadly didn't are living to see his work grow to be celebrated, demise of a heart disorder at the age of 35 on the day of the first preview of Rent, for which he posthumously won the Tony Awards for best musical, best ebook and best score, as well as a Pulitzer.

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Netflix just loves a documentary about media impresarios, and this two-hour feature on Clive Davis is ripe with 9 decades-worth of history-making anecdotes that make Forest Gump appear to be an underachiever.

Growing up in a middle-class Jewish family in 1930s Brooklyn, Davis used to be nonetheless in his teens when his oldsters passed away in fast succession, an match that each devastated him and drove his unrelenting paintings ethic, to begin with as an entertainment legal professional and later as president of CBS Records.

Despite no longer having a musical background, Davis came upon that he had 'golden ears', a present that, in accordance to showbiz lore, led to him signing the likes of Janis Joplin, Gil Scott-Heron, Whitney Houston and Patti Smith. Davis' ears no longer only helped him uncover artists but also influenced his shrewd management, allegedly pushing Bruce Springsteen to write Blinded by the Light by means of time and again rejecting his first album till he came up with successful, and forcing Simon and Garfunkel to unencumber Bridge Over Troubled Water as the lead unmarried for their final album. And then there was once his knack for relaunching stars corresponding to Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin, who had unbelievably fallen out of favour with the record-buying public.

Don't be expecting any large personal revelations – there's the peculiar juicy tidbit such as Davis claiming to decline Joplin's advances, and a variety of scandals involving payola and bitter company betrayal – however it's the exam of his relationship with Houston, from first discovering her and guiding her profession (it sounds as if insisting that the intro to I Will Always Love You remain a cappella) to his feelings of ineptitude as he witnessed her decline, this is most telling.

Echo in the Canyon

This quite patchy documentary pays homage to the folk-rock scene that grew out of Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s. It follows Jakob Dillon (Bob’s son) as he gathers some musician buddies – Fiona Apple, Nora Jones, Beck and Regina Spektor – together for what is essentially a tribute show to the bands that defined the era, together with The Byrds, The Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. 

Be warned: the film’s pacing is uneven, steadily self indulgently luxuriating over live photos of Dillon’s covers which are probably a handy device to steer clear of paying for song rights. And there are lovely conspicuous gaps in the narrative too. There are not any mentions of Joni Mitchel, Jim Morisson, Love, The Eagles or James Taylor, even though Ringo Starr and his sports car appear to get numerous display time. There’s additionally no allusion to the Manson extended family and the infamous murders dedicated at Cielo Drive that undeniably impacted the spirit of freedom and openness that had permeated the Canyon music community.

But despite those hefty caveats, Echo in the Canyon’s focus on the songs themselves is gently rewarding, as are a lot of the interviews with Crosby and Stills as well as Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, who gamely divulges on her musical ménage à trois with fellow band individuals, unapologetically grinning, “I used to be an excessively busy woman”.

ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium

Massacre at the Stadium is an excessively different more or less tune documentary about the lifetime of Victor Jara, a Chilean folk singer, songwriter and poet in the 1960s. His outspoken criticism of General Pinochet, who become the country's dictator by means of an American-backed coup ousting the democratically elected socialist president in 1973, ended in his torture and homicide by loyalist soldiers. A criminal offense that went unexamined and unpunished for over 40 years.

Despite its graphic sounding name, the filmmakers refrain from getting too detailed on the violence that Jara persisted, as an alternative opting for to center of attention on his existence, tune and influence as well as the unrelenting activism mounted by his wife Joan Jara in the face of repression and bureaucratic indifference. His songs, either one of protest and day by day life, take front and centre, with artists including Bono and Bruce Springsteen paying tribute to his talent and bravery.

The Defiant Ones

A four-part collection that at the beginning aired on HBO, The Defiant Ones charts the partnership between Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine and rapper and list producer Dr. Dre.

As much as being a tune documentary, it's a tale of entrepreneurship and how an artform helped build an empire for two pioneering individuals.

The Get Down

Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis's 11-episode drama, reduce with real photos from 1970s New York, is one of those fictionalised retelling of the beginnings of hip-hop.

Executive produced by Grandmaster Flash and narrated via Nas, you generally tend to really feel if those guys do not get it right then there is little hope it will ever be done.

Song Exploder

This one began existence as a podcast prior to being picked up by way of Netflix. The thought is that artists pick out aside their very own tracks, discussing the inspiration and the way it was written and recorded; it is the more or less granular perception you simply do not get in a normal documentary or biopic.

Now in its second collection on Netflix, Song Exploder has featured artists as diverse as R.E.M., Dua Lipa, Alicia Keys, Nine Inch Nails and Lin-Manuel Miranda up to now. Long might it continue.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Opening the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, What Happened, Miss Simone? documents the extraordinary ability and uncontrollable character of Nina Simone.

Released later the identical 12 months by means of Netflix, the film (and Liz Garbus's gentle contact), won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Directing.

Sample This

"When Kool Herc found Apache, he was under heavy guard," Grandmaster Flash told What Hi-Fi?. "You would never see the album cover of where it came from."

Described in the film as the most essential checklist in hip-hop, Incredible Bongo Band's Apache has since been sampled masses of instances by the genre's most seminal artists. Sample This is both its tale and a celebration of the culture it unwittingly helped to create.


Quincy Jones is the subject of this two-hour documentary created by means of Netflix, celebrating his atypical lifestyles as trumpeter, producer, conductor, composer and arranger as well as discoverer of some of the final century's biggest artists.

It would possibly now not tread a lot new ground for those already well-read on the US icon – you try covering more than 80 years in 120 mins – however it is an undeniably entertaining watch to which you'll regularly in finding your self singing along.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Though the identify of this 2019 Netflix free up appears to give it all away, its combination of documentary and fiction is a refreshing take on a track legend who has been the subject of a really perfect collection of films already.

Covering Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour, Martin Scorsese's take mixes real interviews with figures such as Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg and Dylan himself, with the ones of actors portraying characters who were not in fact occupied with the tour.


Whether you're keen on them, detest them or stay completely ambivalent, it is tough to deny Oasis's early upward thrust was once moderately spectacular. Supersonic avoids later spats, headline-hungry barbs and lower than cutting-edge artistry to center of attention on how the band was the largest in the UK in only a few years.

If nothing else it is a movie harking back to a perhaps more hopeful time, when what we are experiencing now would appear too ridiculous even for a disaster film.

Miss Americana

Using archive footage from Whitney Houston's 1999 World Tour blended with testimonies from the singer's family, friends and musical collaborators, Nick Broomfield's documentary aims deep at the afflicted yet celebrated life of its topic.

Though touching upon her beginnings as a gospel singer, as well as leap forward hits and her role in The Bodyguard, this is extra a character piece than chronicling of a profession.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

If you suppose two hours is just too short a time to cover the abnormal lifestyles and genius of Miles Davis in the rest drawing near enough element, you would be absolutely right.

Birth of the Cool is not at all an 'everything you want to know' documentary, but as an summary of certainly one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century it does at least encourage further listening and further studying. We'd counsel staring at this and then buying Davis's autobiography Miles.

I Called Him Morgan

Kasper Collin's documentary is a love letter to the stormy relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his wife Helen, who was liable for his murder in 1972.

It's a documentary that has it all, except for the long listing of awards it in point of fact deserves.

What We Started

It's going down with dance song simply as it's with hip-hop – a type of gateway into maturity and acceptance as a serious genre, rubber-stamped 'severe documentary storytelling'.

With focal point on and interviews with stars from the style's previous, present and future, What We Started does as properly to juxtapose their various paths through the years because it does charting the genre's upward thrust.

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