Movie Music

The 31 Best Music Documentaries Of All Time

Hands down, above all of these following music documentaries, Craig's Hlist's two favorite of all-time are The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years, and The Beatles Anthology. We can watch both on repeat for days and not complain.

That will probably all change once we see Lemmy, the film about Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister in a few weeks, though. Fingers crossed they use some footage from the last Houston show. You may probably see CHL in the back somewhere screaming our fool head off like we're at a Justin Bieber show.

The Metal Years is just a big, stupid chronicle of hair metal in Los Angeles in the late '80s. The interviews are gold, especially the paint-huffing fans and Chris Holmes from W.A.S.P., who comes off as more animal than man. Plus, it has Aerosmith and Ozzy Osbourne talking straight about their drug use. We bought it as a bootleg DVD and it hardly leaves our player for weeks on end.

The Beatles Anthology maybe did more to fuel the fire that led to our current profession than any other film. We bought it on DVD a few years ago and fell into a Beatles spiral all over again.

Here is a list of the best rock documentaries out there for you to see. Be sure to check the last Craig's Hlist we did on rock concert films before you complain we left anything out. More than likely it is on that hlist, or we forgot it altogether because we aren't Wikipedia.

American Hardcore

This hardcore chronicle is great, covering all the cities with scenes of fans and bands, interviewing the men and women who were on the frontlines of the genres birthing, including godfathers Henry Rollins, Keith Morris, and Ian MacKaye. Read the book too, it's got plenty about Houston's hardcore history as well.


This Ondi Timoner film made Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe an instant batshit rock and roll legend and painted The Dandy Warhols as a Pollyanna-ish pack of kids in over their heads.

The Devil & Daniel Johnston

The best thing about this Daniel Johnston flick is that it does not shy away from explaining his mental illness, showing how DJ's fight effected his family and friends. The home footage and recordings are a great look into his jagged creative process.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty