Check out these 10 music documentaries on YouTube, ready and waiting for your next big binge

YouTube is full of weird, unofficial music documentaries. We’re here to help you wade through the garbage with this list of 10 worth-your-while doco’s.

Did someone say free documentaries? When it comes to music documentaries on Youtube, it can be a bit of a mixed bag. So to help you mine the gold from the trash, we put together this list for when you’re low on the dollars, and you want something outside of the average noisey or just looking for something different, and you’ll find plenty of ‘different’ on Youtube.

From the best rock documentaries on youtube or the music documentaries, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best free YouTube music documentaries.

bed in john lennon yoko ono

John Lennon and Yoko Ono: Bed Peace

In the midst of the Vietnam War in 1969, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In protest at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. The Bed-In was filmed and later turned into a documentary Bed Peace, which was made available for free on YouTube in August 2011 by Yoko Ono, as part of her website “Imagine Peace”. Directed by Yoko & John and filmed by Nic Knowland.


Frank Zappa: A Pioneer of Future Music

Any attempt to give insight to the marvellous oddity that is Frank Zappa and his music is worth checking out. And this doco does a pretty good job of deciphering this truly one-of-a-kind artist and his prolific work. Excellent watch whether you’re a long-term fan wanting to find out more about the moustachio’d one, or as an introduction to pull you down the rabbit hole.

Breaking The Sound Barrier

Ok, so it’s Vimeo, not Youtube, but we couldn’t overlook this crucial insight into the experience of being a band in the Melbourne music scene. Made by photographer/documentary maker Yana Amur, this short doco stops in with a range of bands (including our good mates DARTS) to talk about making music as an underground band struggling to make ends meets. Crucially though, it avoids getting stuck in a rut about getting recognition, and instead focuses on the joy of making music for the sake of music and the unique experience of being an Australian band. Things like this, which examine the unique Australian identity of our music, are too few and far between, we only wish there were more of its kind.

Punk Rock Vs Sharia Law

What’s more punk than taking on authority? Nothing. But we bet when you think “punk rock,” you don’t think of Indonesia, yet Indonesia’s punk scene is diverse and flourishing despite its oppression from authority. Episode 5 in Noisey’s Music World series looks at punk in Aceh, Indonesia’s sharia province where anti-punk sentiment is at its strongest, with 65 punks being arrested and detained at Moral Training Camps. It makes for an incredibly interesting, all too real journey of John Safran-esque nature.

The Importance of Being Morrisey

Morrissey is a dividing character, from his outspoken views to his critically slammed book. He may be a polarising character but you can’t deny he’s an interesting one. Another thing you can’t deny is the importance of The Smiths. The Importance of Being Morrisey is a window into the man, his music, and inevitably, his acerbic views.

A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake

The word “intimate” is bandied about a lot when talking about music documentaries but believe us when we say that A Skin Too Few is an intimate look at the life of the under-rated but highly influential musician Nick Drake. A chronological look at his life, the documentary features his sister, his parents (of which his mother was an important artistic influence), as well as his arranger, producer and the like. It all equates to a touching tribute that paints his life from the beginning, through to the tragically young ending.


Arguably the greatest music documentary ever made, Dig! follows the respective career paths of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre; the former being professional and career-minded, the latter being completely out of control. Packed with footage of on-stage brawls and other chaotic scenes, this doco is absolute madness from start to finish.

We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minuteman

A celebration of the legendary 1980’s punk band, and the broader 80’s punk scene and DIY culture that they epitomised. We Jam Econo documents the life of the Minuteman through interviews with the bassist and drummer and old interview footage of singer and guitarist D. Boon who passed away in 1985. Henry Rollins, Greg Ginn and Flea also make appearances, each of them highlighting the importance of the band in Southern California’s music scene.

U2 – Achtung Baby

“From the Sky Down” is a 2011 American documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about rock band U2 and the production of their 1991 album Achtung Baby. The film documents the album’s difficult recording period, the band members’ relationships, and the group’s creative process. The film contains unreleased scenes from the group’s 1988 motion picture Rattle and Hum, along with archival footage and stills from the Achtung Baby recording sessions. 

LDN’  – Nathan Miller

London’s modern grime-drill-hip hop explosion explained. This oft-misunderstood scene is explored to perfection in this exciting and engaging doco. Featuring J Hus, Kojey Radical, 67, Fredo and more, ‘LDN’ was made by documentary filmmaker Nathan Miller, who was working part-time at the Ace Hotel at the time.