We rate the most wonderful movies on the music panorama down the decades, from Bob Dylan to Blur, Anvil to Amy Winehouse

20. Big Fun in the Big Town( 1986 )

Charming Belgian TV presenter Marcel Vanthilt tries to get to grips with the New York rap scene. Interviewees include LL Cool J and Schoolly D, but this featurette is as notify to social nuances as musical ones.

19. Starshaped( 1993 )

This catches Blur on the brink of the Britpop explosion, appearing keen but disorient, and often the worse for wear. Car-crash highlightings include Damon Albarn falling off a speaker and John Peel carrying cheering apathy to their music.

18. Oil City Confidential( 2009 )

Canvey Island pub-rock combo Dr Feelgood get the movie medication from The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle director Julien Temple.

17. Amy( 2015 )

Asif Kapadia’s Oscar-winning film about Amy Winehouse expertly sews together everything from dwelling movies brimming with hope to end-of-the-line concert images when the jig was truly up.

16. 20 Feet from Stardom( 2013 )

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20 Feet From Stardom. Image: Graham Willoughby/ Gil Friesen Prods/ Tremolo Prods ./ Kobal/ REX/ Shutterstock

The unsung spokespeople behind the stars lastly get their due in this story of backup singers including Darlene Love and Judith Hill.

15. Buena Vista Social Club( 1999 )

Wim Wenders has all along been drew attention to misfits, from Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley in The American Friend to Harry Dean Stanton as the everlasting nomad in Paris, Texas. He fetched his smell for the outsider know-how to this film about the Cuban ensemble acquiring its first trip to America.

14. I Am Trying to End Your Heart: A Film About Wilco( 2002 )

Turmoil is a gift to the music documentary. Wilco were up to their attentions in it soon after the photographer Sam Jones started filming them: they molted two of their members and went dropped by their description. Out of the chaos, a great book( Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) and a uncover film emerged.

13. The Road to God Knows Where( 1990 )

The recent Nick Cave films One More Time with Feeling and 20, 000 Daytimes on Earth showcase a matured and pondering artist. For unsparing grit and grime, there’s Uli M Schueppel’s black-and-white cinema of the Bad Seeds’ 1989 US tour, heavy on the boredom and annoyances of life on the road.

12. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party( 2006 )

Michel Gondry records the on-and-off-stage displays of a 2004 Bed-Stuy bash shed by Chappelle, who bussed in members of the community from his home town of Dayton, Ohio. Performers include Kanye West and Lauryn Hill; the political commentary is low-frequency but consistent, with Fred Hampton Jr, son of a assassinated Black Panther and chairman of the Captives of Conscience Committee, telling the crowd:” Sides up, attentions open, fists clenched .”

11. The Devil and Daniel Johnston( 2005 )

The wild ingenuity of the folk musician Daniel Johnston turns out to be inseparable from his woes as he struggles with bipolar illness. He sings! He urges! He attacks his director with a lead pipe! Through everything there is, the director Jeff Feuerzeig maintains a likable eye.

10. Rude Boy( 1980 )

Part-documentary, part-staged actuality( a proficiency that the film’s co-director, Jack Hazan, had pioneered in his David Hockney doc A Bigger Splash ), this inserts a fictional roadie into the real world of The Clash on tour. A scorch and often ugly photograph of a stripe at a full pelt and a country in decline.

9. Gimme Shelter( 1970 )

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Gimme Shelter: best of the Rolling Stones documentaries. Picture: Allstar/ Maysles Films

There is no shortage of Rolling Stones films, from Godard’s One Plus One aka Sympathy For the Devil and Robert Frank’s little-seen Cocksucker Blues to Martin Scorsese’s more recent Shine a Light. But the cream of the crop, the absolute Exile on Main Street of the knot, is the Maysles friends’ chronicle of the band before, during and after the horror of Altamont.

8. Lawrence of Belgravia( 2011 )

Lyrical filmmaker Paul Kelly sees Lawrence, lead singer of indie divinities Felt, glam pasticheurs Denim and Casio-pop pioneers Go-Kart Mozart, somewhat on his uppers. He faces eviction from his committee flat as he records a new book. Yet in his refusal to sell out, Lawrence is an suffering representation of artistic purity. Excusing his resilience, he says:” No one else has got this far, and neglected .”

7. Anvil! The Story of Anvil( 2008 )

Alongside Some Kind of Monster and DiG !, this is another slice of cringingly frank mid-noughties verite, the key change being that the group in question, a Canadian metal outfit, is located within smelling interval of reputation without ever fairly representing it big. A reunion tour renders a near-as-dammit real-life equivalent to Spinal Tap.

6. The Decline of Western Civilisation Part I( 1981 )

Penelope Spheeris directed the first movie about the American response to punk, with interviews and actions from Circle Jerks, X and Black Flag, the menace of the latter tempered by stodgy frontman Darby Crash, known to cover himself with peanut butter and dive through busted glass to disguise the fact that his banding couldn’t play. Quality control stayed high-pitched for Spheeris’s follow-ups, Parts II( about metal) and III( homeless punks ).

5. DOA: A Rite of Passage( 198 0 )

This film diary of the Sex Pistols’ fateful 1978 US tour zig-zags between the Stateside vaudeville and interrogations from back home with establishment illustrations closing their ears to the howl of punk (” I’m not going to listen to what they say until they learn to enunciate clearly and speak properly in the Queen’s English “). A grimly enforcing highlight is the footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen dangling in bottom like the anti-John-and-Yoko.

4. DiG !( 2004 )

Dig!:
Dig !: a study of fluke and self-sabotage. Photograph: Interloper/ Kobal/ REX/ Shutterstock

Two ensembles for the price of one: The Dandy Warhols take the fast study to fame and adulation while their brothers-in-psychedelia, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, languish in semi-obscurity, their integrity intact, their sanity perhaps less so. Ondi Timoner boiled down a staggering 1,500 hours of footage to make this study of luck and self-sabotage in rock’n’roll.

3. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster( 2004 )

Metal behemoths Metallica quietly fall apart in this long but spellbinding documentary which receives them plagued by indecision and mistrust as they grapple with their incomparable success. With one circle member get and another participating rehab, the band members submit to a” accomplishment enhancement coach-and-four” who insinuates himself creepily into the artistic process.

2. Bob Dylan: Don’t Look Back( 1967 )

DA Pennebaker’s fingerprints are all over music cinema( Monterey Pop, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars ). But his masterpiece follows a restless, researching Bob Dylan as he tours Britain in 1965, confronting columnists, accommodating courtroom among some peers( Joan Baez, Alan Price ), gibing at others( sorry, Donovan) and, with the Subterranean Homesick Blues cue-cards cycle, is contributing to fabricate the papa promo.

1. In Bed with Madonna( aka Madonna: Truth or Dare)( 1991 )