The top 10 music documentaries on Netflix UK right now

Netflix boasts an incredibly long list of genres that far surpasses the obvious Action, Comedy and Sci-Fi – and it offers no shortage when it comes to streaming engaging music content.

Over recent years, filmmakers have delved deep into the lives of some of the biggest artists of our time. Luckily for the music nerds among us, Netflix offers a plethora of gripping, inspirational and tear-jerking documentaries, shedding light on sides to your favourite artists that you had no clue existed.

Whether it’s Katy Perry’s fun tour diary, or the five pivotal years in Bowie’s career, learn the story behind the sound – it’ll only make you appreciate your next listen that little bit more.

Here are 10 music documentaries you really need to see.

1. Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★

Follow Katy Perry on and offstage in this revealing diary of her California Dreams tour, exploring her struggle between the inevitable tour drama and her out-sized personal life. And most intriguing of all, learn about her journey from a strict Christian upbringing and debuting with a religious-themed album, to marrying Russell Brand.

2. Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (2015)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★★

Follow Sinatra’s growth from roadhouse performer to global singing sensation in BBC’s four-part docuseries All or Nothing at All. From his birth to the influences behind his meteoric rise in his 20s – and drawing on comments from his nearest and dearest – the documentary uncovers an intimate portrait of the legendary crooner: his life, his talent and his iconic career.

3. Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★★

Little Girl Blue captures the life, career and persona of the timid – yet triumphant – rock legend that was Janis Joplin. A compelling celebration, it highlights her accomplishment in being the first to step foot in the all-male rock ’n’ roll club. Private letters and intimate interviews with those who knew her well reveal what was truly a fragile soul.

4. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★★

Follow Rush’s journey from anonymous Toronto trio to worldwide phenomenon. Whether you’re a fan or not, Beyond the Lighted Stage is a year-by-year portrait of the enduring, influential rock band that anybody can enjoy.

5. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2014)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★

Explore the trials and tribulations of one of the most successful heavy-metal bands in history in Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004), as the members commit to two years of group therapy to resolve their conflicts. Plus, check in on the group 10 years later in episode 2, as they reconnect to reflect on the documentary’s legacy and its influence on the band.

6. David Bowie: Five Years (2013)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★★

The BBC documentary David Bowie: Five Years features a wealth of Bowie’s unseen personal archives to reveal something unique about his mind and soul during each of the five pivotal years in his career (1971, 975, 1977, 1980 and 1983). From his regeneration in Berlin with his critically-acclaimed album Heroes, to his global success with Let’s Dance, discover the journey in which Bowie became a real icon of our time.

7. Reincarnated (2012)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★

Vice magazine’s Andy Capper follows hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg as he journeys to Jamaica, where he immerses himself in Rastafarian culture, rechristens himself Snoop Lion and produces his first reggae record: Reincarnated. A gripping documentary exploring his spiritual reawakening.

8. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★★

Simone receives a fitting tribute with this Netflix original documentary, including previously unseen footage and exclusive recordings of one of the most influential jazz and blues singers of all time. Perhaps the most intriguing element of this biographical film is its exploration of how she used her talent for change. Discover the legendary singer and activist that was Nina Simone.

9. Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child (2010)

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★

Voodoo Child chronicles the phenomenal career of the rock-guitar god that was Jimi Hendrix. Vintage concert footage, personal artefacts and interviews with Paul McCartney and Steve Winwood reveal a new side to the groundbreaking performer.

10. History of the Eagles

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Netflix user rating: ★★★★★

History of the Eagles is a three-hour mini-series exploring the captivating story of the country rockers, from the perspective of each of the seven band-mates. From their early days, to their acrimonious split and their eventual reunion, the documentary paints a vivid picture of the Eagles, one of America’s most successful bands.

The best musicals streaming on Netflix UK right now

Netflix has rapidly become our first choice for lazy day entertainment, providing us with hours of bingeable material at the touch of a button. To those of you with an account (which is almost everyone, right? Find out your mum’s login details if not!): Once you have eventually caught up on Orange Is the New Black – and maybe had a shower, peeled back your curtains and engaged in some human interaction – you’ll be delighted to hear that you have access to some of the best musical theatre from the comfort of your own home!

From timeless classics like Annie and Funny Girl, to modern creations like Mamma Mia!, Netflix can satisfy every theatrical desire. Here are the top 8 musicals available for streaming right now:

1. Annie (1982)

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Follow 11-year-old Annie, the world’s favourite urchin, as she transforms from rags to riches after capturing the heart of Daddy Warbucks with her adorable innocence and optimism. It’s a charming, feel-good classic complete with unforgettable songs. Perfect entertainment for a rainy day.

A brand new production of Annie starring Miranda Hart opens at London’s Piccadilly Theatre on 23 May. Book tickets here.

2. Dreamgirls (2006)

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Adapted from the 1981 Broadway musical, and taking strong inspiration from the true story of The Supremes, Dreamgirls explores the evolution of 60s & 70s R&B music through the eyes of American girl group The Dreams. Tensions arise for the girls when their manager replaces lead singer Effie with the more ‘marketable’ Deena. Boasting a star-studded cast of Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, this is a real must-see.

3. Funny Girl (1968)

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Follow the life-story of Broadway star Fanny Brice in the semi-biographical musical film Funny Girl. Based on the 1963 musical, the romcom – starring Oscar Award-winning Barba Streisand – highlights Brice’s hostile relationship with gambler Nicky Arnstein. It’s an old classic that’s definitely worth a watch.

4. Grease: Live (2016)

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Be transported back to the 1950s to follow the whirlwind high-school romance between innocent Sandy and greaser Danny in a live television special starring Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens and Carly Rae Jepson. Incorporating elements from both the 1978 film and the original stage production – as well as brand new songs – it’s an uplifting, one-night musical extravaganza you don’t want to miss!

5. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)

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In the fantasy musical film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Barbra Streisand stars as a brash New Yorker who, at the request of her conservative fiancé, undergoes hypnotherapy to diminish her smoking habits. While under hypnosis, she shifts between present day and her past life in early 19th-century England. The film adaptation, and the oldest musical on Netflix, is described by Paramount as “a delightful combination of comedy, drama, fantasy and music.”

6. Mamma Mia! (2008)

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Embrace the lovable hits of Swedish pop band ABBA in Mamma Mia! – the film adaptation of the 1999 West End musical. A single mum is preparing for her daughter’s wedding on the Greek isle of Kalokairi, when her three ex-lovers (and potential fathers of the bride-to-be) arrive for the big day. With a star-studded cast, including Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters – and ABBA’s most-loved songs – Mamma Mia! promises to delight and uplift.

7. Puss in Boots (1988)

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Much to his dismay, Corin inherits only a cat from his father. However, he is soon stunned to learn that the cat transforms to a human being when wearing a pair of boots. Follow the adventures of the magical cat as he helps his young master win the heart of a princess! Jason Connery and Christopher Walken star in this lovable musical film adaptation of the classic fairy tale Puss in Boots.

8. De-Lovely (2004)

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Explore the life and career of American composer and songwriter Cole Porter in the 2004 musical biopic De-Lovely. From the night he first met his devoted wife, up until the day he died, you’ll witness his life unfolding much like one of his musicals.

Also, some of the most amazing musicals have been released in DVD in 2016, including Miss Saigon, Gypsy and more – have a look at the list we have compiled to complete your at-home-musical-indulgence!