Music documentaries: what’s the point

There’s no denying that music documentaries can offer a new angle on well-loved bands or musicians, however many may argue these documentaries aren’t needed. The main issue I have with such documentaries is that they can be viewed as a means to simply make money.

The primary thing I love about any artist is their music, which I can listen to any time through Spotify or other streaming services. I don’t need to pay money to see a film where they will play their songs and give me the backstory behind that because, if I wanted to, I could find that information on Google.

Fair enough if the documentary offers new songs, unreleased songs or information not available anywhere else, but if the content is easily accessible for free, I don’t see why I’d need to pay or waste time watching a documentary.  

However, if you love the artist, then there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to learn more about them and see them in a different light. Learning more about the artist on a deeper level can make you understand the music they produce better and give new layers to the music they produce.

Many documentaries include interviews with the artists themselves or important people in the industry which can offer an incredible new perspective. Most music documentaries have their own unique spin on the artist and offer pieces of information which can’t be discovered simply through the music alone. They offer not only an insight, but a story.

They don’t personally appeal to me on a large scale, because typically it’s the specific music of the artist which I appreciate, I’m not necessarily interested in the artist themselves. All that being said, I can see how fans would love the chance to engage with the artist in a different way.

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Leia Butler

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November 2021
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