Top 8 Rock Documentaries


If you have been on Down In The City before, you probably already know that I am a huge rock music fan. I am also an avid rock documentary watcher, so I compiled a list of some of my favorites, since there are hundreds out there. A good handful of these are also on Netflix, so they are pretty easy to find.

Sound City (2013)

Directed and narrated by Dave Grohl, this is a documentary of the legendary music studio in Van Nuys, California called Sound City. Dozens of incredible albums were recorded behind the doors of Sound City from 1969 onwards including those of Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Slayer, Slipknot and Metallica. I could not take my eyes away from the screen for the entire doc. It also talks about the progression of music recording, ending the analog age and moving into the digital age with more high tech recording equipment. If you are interested in the recording side of music, definitely have a watch. 

The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

This is the first installement of the 3-part "The Decline of Western Civilization" series and it's all about punk; the Los Angeles punk scene to be exact. It was filmed between 1979-1980 and is the best representation of the punk scene that I have ever watched. The documentary not only shows concert footage from bands such as Black Flag, X, The Germs and Circle Jerks, but it also interviews punk fans, which is definitely the highlight of the film. Being a huge music fan myself, it's so interesting to watch other huge music fans of different generations. The film should be on the top of the film list for rock history appreciation.

The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years (1988)

The second installment of The Decline of Western Civilization documentaries and in my opinion, the best. It was filmed right towards the end of the Heavy Metal scene in the 80's and it's probably one of my favorite documentaries of all time. Incredible interviews and awesome concert footage from artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, W.A.S.P., Aerosmith, Poison, and Motörhead. As well as interviews with heavy metal fans and those who want to be rockstars themselves. It's a mixture of hilarious, depressing and amazingness all in one documentary. 

Cobain : Montage of Heck (2015)

There are many Kurt Cobain documentaries, but Montage of Heck is the only one truly worth watching. The documentary takes you through Cobain's life, from the early years in Aberdeen to the start and finish of the life of Nirvana in Seattle. The story is narrated heavily by Cobain's own voice, from archive footage and art work that he created. If you are a fan of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, definitely watch it. 

Foo Fighters : Sonic Highways (2014)

If you want history lesson about American music, you have to watch this documentary series. This docu-series is separated into 8 different episodes, all taking place in a different legendary music cities in the United States. It's about the recording and creation of the Foo Fighters album "Sonic Highways" and each of the 8 songs are recorded in a different city. In each city, you also get a history lesson on all of the incredible music from there. You will definitely want to binge watch this. 

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)

If you have never seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot, go and do it right now! It's only about 17 minutes long and it is the best representation of the heavy metal scene in the 80's that I have ever seen. Directors John Heyn and Jeff Krulik drive around the parking lot of a Judas Priest concert in Maryland and interview the teenagers tailgating. I won't tell you too much because you should definitely watch. It's hilarious. 

Eagles Of Death Metal : Nos Amis (2017)

The reason this made my top list is because it is the most raw and emotional rock doc I have ever seen. I remember the day that the Paris attacks happened so vividly because it hit me harder than most tragic events usually do. This band witnessed something so incredibly terrible and horrific, but because of their strength, love for their fans and love for true rock and roll, they went back to Paris to finish the show that they started. Be ready to cry and to smile, because it is heavy. 

Hired Gun (2016)

This documentary is all about the side of the music industry that most of us don't know about and it's great. Hired guns in the music world are basically the best musicians that artists will hire to play in their band. It doesn't always mean that it will be for long relationship between the artist and hired gun. Although, in some situations, the hired gun becomes a real part of the band. I enjoyed every part of this documentary; from the interviews with some of the most famous hired guns to the concert footage of artists like Five Finger Death Punch, Alice Cooper, Metallica and Billy Joel. 

What's your favorite rock doc? Comment down below!