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7 Best Music Documentaries

For all of you coming off your Eid vacation high, don’t worry – there’s still some fun to be had. That is, of course, if you think music documentaries are fun.

We here at CairoScene feel for you. We too have just returned from some beautiful sandy beach and have nothing to show for it but a tan and some awkward memories. What better way to snap out of that funk than with some musical edutainment? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best music documentaries of all time to fight off the boredom.  

Dig! (2004)

This wonderful documentary focuses on the rivalry/friendship between two bands; The Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The film is actually shot by Ondi Timoner, of the Dandy Warhols, and highlights the struggles faced by Indie bands looking to be successful. What makes this documentary worth watching is the meltdown of the very talented Brian of The Jonestown Massacre, as the lead singer struggles with his jealousy and constant need to fight everyone, including the audience.

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

This documentary is a real treat for music lovers. It follows a group of very old and very talented musicians who never really made it anywhere, as they lived in Cuba. The legendary Ry Cooder inspired by their music, helps put the band together and triumphantly brings them to America for a very memorable concert. The film was so well received, it was nominated for an Oscar, and almost overnight everyone was talking about the Buena Vista Social Club, worldwide.

Pink Floyd Live in Pompeii (1974)

Before The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd was a considered a Psychedelic Rock band that was really big into experimentation. For the longest time this documentary, which is actually just Pink Floyd playing in the ancient ruins of Pompeii, was impossible to find. It wasn't until DVDs were created that it actually got widespread distribution. A must-watch for any Pink Floyd fan.

No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009)

This film is all about a the efforts of two Iranian musicians, Negar and Ashkan, as they look for band member to play a concert in London. The film sheds light on just how tough it is too form a band in Iran, and how much harder it is to get a Visa out of Iran.

Gimme Shelter (1970)

This is musical documentary of the Rolling Stones at the height of their career. The doc follows them on their 1969 tour, but takes a tragic turn when they focus on the horrible events that transpired at the Altamont concert. Definitely worth watch, even if you are not a Stones fan.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

This hilarious documentary proves that you just need talent in the music industry, you need a lot of luck. This doc follows a Canadian Heavy Metal band that actually helped inspired the genre. Everyone from Metallica to Megadeath will give them credit for being leaders in the Metal game. However, after 13 albums, the band is yet to be a commercially successful act. Even if you hate Metal, this is a must-watch.

Marley (2012)

This documentary simply focuses on the life of one of music's greatest legends. Bob Marley was so bigger than life, he almost seems mythical. Without him there is a very big possibility that we would have never heard about Reggae. 


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