One of the great things about Christmas is hopefully having the time to relax and catch-up on some essential viewing that you might have been putting off. If you’ve re-watched Die Hard, don’t fancy another viewing of Elf and are already tired of the omni-present sound of sleigh bells, check out this list of drummer-friendly entertainment.
All of these are available to watch via Netflix, Amazon Prime or Sky/Now TV in the UK and are included in your plan, so there’s no extra rental/purchase charges. Check your territory for availability.
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The Beatles: Get Back - Disney+
Peter Jackson’s Beatles docu-series covers the creation of Let It Be, offering a more balanced view than the film. Thanks to groundbreaking restoration and audio editing techniques, we get to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the Fab Four’s rehearsal, recording and performance, alongside the ups and downs of the band’s final era. It’s worth a month’s subscription to the Disney+ service alone.
Count Me In - Netflix
An all-star cast of drummers unpick exactly what it is that makes drummers tick.
The Sound Of Metal - Amazon Prime
Riz Ahmed portrays a rock drummer, Rueben experiencing every musician’s worst nightmare: hearing loss.
The film deals with Rueben coming to terms with his deteriorating hearing, while his girlfriend and bandmate Lou (Olivia Cooke) intervenes in order to prevent the former addict from spiralling out of control.
A stark reminder to wear those earplugs you got in your stocking.
Fred Armisen: Standup For Drummers - Netflix
Comedian and drummer Fred Armisen (Saturday Night live, Portlandia) leads us through his muso observations and impressions of life behind the kit.
While the material does break from drums and music, you’ll probably want to watch this alone/with other drummers unless your nan is likely to appreciate the subtle frustrations of un-fastening a cymbal stand wingnut.
Art of Drumming - Sky Arts
Join UK drumming institution as he charts the progression of drumming’s role in popular music in this four-part documentary series. Steve is joined by a list of drumming royalty to help with his exploration, it’s a must-watch for drummers and non-drumming music fans alike.
Sample This - Netflix
Sample This tells the story of The Incredible Bongo Band’s version of Apache - the drum groove from which went on to become one of the most sampled breakbeats in history.
As well as some masterful input and drumming demonstrations from Questlove, Sample This takes in the Manson family, and the tragic downfall of session drummer Jim Gordon.
Whiplash - Amazon Prime
Follow the journey of hopeful jazz drummer, Andrew as he enrols in the Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band, only to be met by ruthless, aggressive and sometimes even violent band leader, Terence Fletcher. Pushed to his limits, Andrew strives to become ‘one of the greats’. There’s blood, tears, and a whole lot of Caravan.
The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story - Netflix
How does a band recover when your frontman is one of the greatest rock has ever seen? Find out as Brian May, Roger Taylor and a cast of A-list rock talking-heads tell the story of Queen’s triumphant revival with vocalist Adam Lambert.
Classic Albums - Amazon Prime
If you fancy nerding-out on some of the biggest albums ever recorded then the Classic Albums series is for you. Unfortunately, not every episode is available to stream for free with a Prime account, but you can watch Black Sabbath (Paranoid), Queen (A Night At The Opera), Pink Floyd (Dark Side Of The Moon). Expect isolated stems and input from the musicians and producers who made them.
Metallica - Some Kind of Monster - Netflix
Metallica’s legendary fly-on-the-wall rock-doc shows the difficulty of creating 2003’s St. Anger. There’s too many brilliant lars Ulrich (and his dad) moments to list as the band navigate recording the album, replacing Jason Newstead, addiction, and the bizarre presence of band therapist, Dr Phil Towel.
Song Exploder - Netflix
An extension of the fascinating podcast series by the same name, Song Exploder takes the ‘Classic Album’ format and zooms in, focussing on a single song each episode. It’s not drum-centric, but it does give some great insight into the creation and production process, including drum parts. The two currently available volumes include Killers (When We Were Young), Nine Inch Nails (Hurt), R.E.M (Losing My Religion) and more.