Sunday, September 12, 2010

Top 5 Music Documentaries

T-Bone's Prime Cuts has a monthly Top 5 Day. This month, it's documentaries. I could totally get behind this one! However, when I commented, I hit enter before I finished my list. So here's the complete list along with some of my thoughts.

1. Lightning in a Bottle - it's the blues, baby. They cover a lot of ground and it's a thing of beauty. Yes, it would have been easier to pick Martin Scorsese's The Blues, but that's not the kind of girl I am.

2. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones - easily one of THE most defining bands of the 70s. I was an early fan and I remain one to this day. I passed along the Ramones jones to my son and I'm proud of that. You can never have "too much" of the Ramones.

3. Tom Dowd & The Language Of Music - Tom Dowd was definitely the man to see if you wanted your music to sound real. He understood the essence of a song and the essence of an artist. His fingerprints are all over some of the greatest music ever recorded.

4. Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - if you're not a Petty fan before you watch this, you will be after. I started off young, so there's never been any hope for me. This doco answers a lot of the questions I always wanted to ask.

The next two documentaries rank very high for me and thus tie for the #5 position.

5a. Buena Vista Social Club - I blame my grandfather for this one. The rhythms, the feeling, the musicians, they all speak to and from the heart.

5b. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars - I fell in love with the song "Soda Soap" after listening to a clip in some PR package several years ago. I started digging around, found many clips from the doco online, watched, and was hooked. I bought the CD and it's been a regular listen ever since. Not long after seeing the online footage, I caught the full documentary on PBS. The DVD was an easy purchase. (It was also an easy steal, apparently, as I loaned it out and the borrower suddenly couldn't find it when I asked for it back.)

What are your favorite music documentaries? Leave a comment here and then go over to T-Bone's Prime Cuts to let him know, too.


Stu said...

The Last Waltz by Martin Scorsese deserves at least honorable mention. Although a documentary, it's considered by many to be greatest concert film ever made.

Joanie said...

Yeah, you're right. Funny that I should have forgotten that one. What the heck is wrong with me??

You know, the fact is, I really enjoy that movie, too. Wow. What else am I forgetting?

Josh said...

I haven't seen all of them but I have to throw my weight behind the wonderful Runnin' Down A Dream. It helps that I'm a huge Heartbreakers fan but the film is just damn wonderful and tells a great story in a great, great way. I absolutely love it.

T-Bone said...

Good stuff Joanie! I really need to see "Lightning In A Bottle."

Joanie said...

Definitely a good watch and listen, T-Bone. Thanks for coming up with a great Top 5.

Also make sure you check out the doc on the Refugees of Sierra Leone. You won't soon forget it.