10 Awesome Music Documentaries

If music be the stuff of great documentaries, play on.

Music has had an immensely powerful hold over the human race since before the dawn of civilization. From the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who believed the the entire universe itself was musical, through to the legendary Frank Zappa who once declared, "Music is the only religion that delivers the goods," music affects us in a profound way - one which is often difficult to put into words. Which is why some music documentaries are so enlightening and engaging - they give us a clearer insight into the creative process, allowing us to hear from musicians and artists what it is about music that moves them and guides them in their compositions and performances. The music documentary can reveal something not only about the nature of music itself but it can also take us inside the mind of the performer - it can also illuminate the inner workings of the industry around them - the producers, vocalists and other unsung heroes who help craft the final product. One such documentary - on release in cinemas this week - is the Academy Award-winning 20 Feet From Stardom, which goes behind the scenes to take a look at the backing singers who have helped to shape some of the biggest selling, beloved songs of the last few decades. We're all familiar with names like Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, Mick Jagger and Stevie Wonder, but few of us are familiar with Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton and the other great singers who feature in Morgan Neville's wonderful documentary. These are the talents who lack "vanity, egotism and narcissism" who nevertheless brought a large discography of hit songs to life, their backing vocals adding depth and lyricism to the stars they stand behind. 20 Feet From Stardom is a a testament to the incredible talents the listener never hears about - the backing vocalists who stand behind the spotlight - which any fan of music should watch. The following list takes us through 10 more amazing music documentaries, all of which offer a glimpse behind the scenes and sings the praises of some of the greatest - and most eccentric - musical performers the world has ever known...

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