If you’re a music-lover who enjoys going deep into the gritty details of stories that make up your favourite songs, albums, and artists, you’d likely be aware of how little you find on offer when you venture into the world of streaming services. Thankfully, Disney+ has changed all of that.
Yes, this week sees the streaming service premiering the six-part series Pistol, focusing on the rise to fame of English punk icons the Sex Pistols. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Yesterday, Slumdog Millionaire), and adapted from guitarist Steve Jones’ autobiography (Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol), the series stars Aussie actor Toby Wallace as Jones and Anson Boon as the Pistols’ frontman John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten).
However, while it might be an immersive history lesson into the punk genre, there’s plenty more musical content available over on Disney+. So in honour of the release of Pistol, let’s take a quick dive into the top five music shows and documentaries available to watch now on Disney+
We’d be remiss if we didn’t kick off this list with the most exciting, explosive, and most recent offering. Though not a documentary in the true sense of the term, Danny Boyle’s six-part series is an immersive retelling of the Sex Pistols’ manic three years as a musical entity.
Adapted from the autobiography of guitarist Steve Jones, his emotional and at times heart-breaking journey takes the viewer deep into the inner workings of the band, showing not just a group of punk-rock pioneers, but a jaded group of creatives with an ultimately successful desire to change the world they live in.
The six-part series makes its premiere on Tuesday, May 31st. If you’re not yet signed up to Disney+, you can catch all the anarchistic glory of Pistol now by heading to their official website and signing up for a membership
Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles
No matter how you slice it, there’s no escaping the fact that Billie Eilish is one of the world’s biggest and most successful artists. From humble beginnings to global domination, it was just last year that Eilish released her second chart-topping album, Happier Than Ever. A more mature and introspective record than her first, it was a powerful follow-up that cemented Eilish’s star-power even further.
In September of 2021, Eilish underlined the importance of the record, releasing A Love Letter to Los Angeles, a live concert film which pays tribute to her hometown with a powerful performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Winning Best Music Film at the 2022 Grammys, it was a stunning look into one of the world’s most iconic artists at the top of her game. Stream it now on Disney+.
Black is King
In 2019, the acclaimed remake of The Lion King was paired by an immersive soundtrack album titled The Lion King: The Gift, by Beyoncé (who pulls double duty as a voice actor in the film). Already a masterful collection of musical works to accompany the film, it was just one year later that Beyoncé gave the record a visual counterpart.
Dubbed Black is King, it serves as a documentary and visual album to accompany the soundtrack, and follows the plot of The Lion King, with a young African prince forced to find his own way following exile following his father’s death. Winning numerous awards (including two Grammys), Black is King stands tall as an eclectic combination of genres and messages, while paying powerful tribute to black identity. Check it out here.
The Beatles: Get Back
When The Beatles released their final album Let it Be in 1970, few would have realised this would be the last we’d hear of the group. A stellar swan song from a band who changed the face of popular music, many were left wondering just what happened during the creation that ultimately resulted in the band’s break-up. Now, more than 50 years later, we have the answer.
Directed by Oscar winner Peter Jackson, The Beatles: Get Back names itself from the working title of (and lead single from) the group’s final album, and offers an unparalleled insight into the making of the record. Dubbed as something of a “documentary about a documentary”, much of the footage had been filmed for the 1970 documentary also titled Get Back, but expands the focus greatly, going far deeper and offering an exclusive fly-on-the-wall view into the process of one of the most iconic bands of all time. Watch it now.
Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
In 2020, the world was in the midst of Taylor Swift season, with the acclaimed artist releasing two surprise albums in the space of just a few months. However, just months before the release of Evermore in December, Swift turned her focus back to July’s Folklore, taking to New York’s Long Pond Studio to record an intimate live performance of the whole record for Disney+.
Complementing the gorgeous tracks with exclusive insight into its production, and featuring appearances from special guests such as Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff, and Justin Vernon, it’s an immersive look into one of the most captivating records in recent memory. Stream it now.