New York, Berlin & Detroit all share exciting, vibrant music histories, and three movies in this collection capture them on film. Nas: Time is Illmatic begins with the birth of hip-hop in New York, while Standing in the Shadows of Motown shows how that style developed from Jazz in Detroit. Bar 25, meanwhile, examines one club in Berlin that expressed the creativity and hedonism of the Berlin scene.
During the 1960s and 1970s, young people all over the world dreamed of becoming a singer songwriter: individuals who composed their own songs, expressing their own vision of the world. Two figures who would make into most top 10s of that period in music history are Joe Strummer and Janis Joplin. Watch both movies here. Janis: Little Girl Blue also has the honor of being narrated by a great singer songwriter of modern times: Cat Power.
When considering the best music movies – and the best music – one way of thinking about the impact any artist has is how they represent the world they come from. Whether intentionally or not, every artist makes some sort of political statement, and two movies from our collection that show the tension between music and politics are Noise & Resistance and B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin.