The rock documentary became more important than ever in 2020.

With the coronavirus pandemic preventing fans from seeing live music in person - and shutting down movie theaters for most of the year - the closest most of us could get to some of our favorite musicians was via the screen, either livestreamed performances or documentaries broadcast on cable networks and streaming services. Fortunately, there was plenty available to keep us entertained.

Continuing a trend, several career retrospectives were dedicated to classic acts as diverse as Ozzy Osbourne, the Band, Frank Zappa, the Bee Gees, the Go-Go's and Beastie Boys. These documentaries used both archival footage and newly shot interviews to provide insight into their histories.

Meanwhile, Bruce Springsteen took viewers inside the making of Letter to You, his first album with the E Street Band in half a decade. And a pair of concert movies were also released: Spike Lee filmed David Byrne's acclaimed American Utopia show during its Broadway run, and a stark, solo piano show by Nick Cave, originally streamed on his website, was expanded and given a limited theatrical screening.

So, until concert venues open up again, the below list of 2020 Classic Rock Documentaries is your best bet for seeing many artists up close. You can also dive into other rock-related movies now available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

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