Five Awesome Rock Documentaries To Get You Through The Weekend!

It's Friday and you're probably already counting the minutes until you can leave the work-week behind and pop the cork on a new weekend.  What better way to lose track of said minutes than by watching one or more of these amazing rock documentaries?  You're welcome! :)

Blondie One Way Or Another (BBC, 2006)



For those needing a refresher course on the staying power of this iconic New York band fronted by hands down the most beautiful frontwoman in the business, there is this 2006 BBC documentary that shines much-deserved light upon the creative and interpersonal dynamic of a band most responsible for bringing both new wave and rap into the mainstream.

Like any good rock doc, there's plenty of sex, drugs and, yes, turmoil to keep things interesting, even for the fairweather fans. Of course, our fave part is seeing the way Chris and Debbie tell the story, like an old married couple who still love and respect one another. It still breaks our heart a little that they broke up almost immediately after Stein's recovery from a lengthy and life-threatening illness. As for the music, if you're one of those who thinks of "The Tide Is High" and "Call Me" when you hear the name "Blondie", this doc will remind you of the breadth of this band's catalog.

Synth Brittannia (BBC, 2009)



Oh, to have lived in Britain during the synth-pop explosion that gave the world such bands as Depeche Mode, Yaz, Eurythmics, and Gary Numan, to name but a few. It seems every kid in Britain who ever saw "A Clockwork Orange" went on to form a synth band and this amazing doc dives head first into the technological advances and societal shortcomings that spawned an entire movement.

Punk, for all its youthful ferocity, was still very much built on the back of old-fashioned rock & roll, but the advent of syntheseizers, drum machines, and other electronic instrumentation, brought about sounds that had never been heard before and perfectly captured the sense of alienation spreading across Britain and most of Europe at the time.

Those wishing to delve further into the history of synth music and the one person most responsible for its development will find the British documentary "Moog" most enlightening.

Velvet Underground - The South Bank Show (UK, 1986)



Again, leave it to Britain to get it right, unleashing this riveting VU documentary upon the world - well, Britain, at least - back in 1986. Watching it now, one is again reminded of just how much more Britain seemed to "get it" when it came to truly visionary artists.

What sets this doc apart from the others is that it doesn't merely treat VU as "the band Lou Reed was in before he became, you know, LOU REED", but goes to great lengths to explore what eac member brought to the band and that how that combination of four disparate backgrounds created the greatest music never heard...until much later, of course.

Of course, the footage of a young Reed finding his way among NYC's burgeoning underground art world at a time when New York was the furthest thing from the yuppie paradise it is today is made all the more poignant by his recent passing.

Guns N Roses Rockumentary (MTV, 1989)



Being that this is from very early on in the group's meteoric rise to fame, it's still somewhat refreshing to see the band in its original incarnation. Most enlightening is the interview footage with a relatively sane Axl Rose before the wheels came off. Don't let the short length (under 23 minutes)of this documenatry fool you into thinking its a fluff piece, you will be riveted to every second.

The New Sound Of Music (BBC, 1979)



While we don't have the luxury of time travel to take us back to 1979, this superb historical documentary from the Beeb is most enlightening in providing a glimpse into the history of recorded music (from the archaic beginnings of studio recording) to the technlogy of the time that provided so much promise (digital instrumentation). It's a bit clinical in its presentation, but incredibly enlightening and essential viewing for anyone curious to fill in the blanks as to how we got here...from there.

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