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There's no better time than Christmas to catch up with the many music films currently online, so here are just eight that we've picked out to hopefully cater to all tastes. You can indulge in the histories of the distinctly British genres of grime and metal, find out about the life and career of Strictly Come Dancing's Darcey Bussell, and we've included two classics from the Arena archive, too - one on Desert Island Discs from 1982, another on Elvis's love of hamburgers.

Intend to enjoy them all? Begin at the top - they're listed in order of how long you have left to watch them.

1. Jazzie B's 1980s: From Dole to Soul

What's left to say about the 1980s? A lot, judging by this fascinating hour-long doc that places the personal story of Soul II Soul's Jazzie B in the wider context of the experiences of second-generation black British youth. That meant unemployment and racism, but also fashion, music and entrepreneurship. A distinct black British identity emerged, especially in London, and with it a flurry of new cultural stars like Lenny Henry, Ian Wright and, of course, Soul II Soul. Features interviews with big figures from the decade, from Norman Jay to Norman Tebbit.

Available until 4 January
Also available now: Boy George's 1970s: Save Me from Suburbia

2. Troubadours: The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter

Rock music burned itself out on the West Coast of America in the late-60s and while it regrouped, a politer, shyer kind of music superstar seized the limelight - expert songwriters like James Taylor and Carole King, many of whom lived in LA's Laurel Canyon and congregated at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. This film tells the story of the club, its eccentric owner Doug Weston and those who made a name there in the early-70s, including Taylor and King, Joni Mitchell, Steve Martin, David Crosby, Jackson Browne and Eagles.

Available until 9 January
Also available now:
Singer-Songwriters at the BBC

3. Heavy Metal Britannia

The definitive story of how hard rock in Britain became heavy metal in the 70s and 80s, told by a stellar, all-star cast of those who made it happen, including members of Black Sabbath and Saxon, Motörhead's Lemmy, Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. The music was dark and reflective of, particularly, the industrial landscape of the Midlands in the 70s, but what makes this film so intensely watchable is how funny the commentators are, particularly Mick Box of Uriah Heep. Exorcising personal demons in heavy music is clearly very good for the soul.

Available until 10 January

4. Darcey Bussell: My Life on the BBC

Strictly is over for another year (other than the Christmas Special), but don't despair - Darcey Bussell: My Life on the BBC goes behind the scenes with the former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet who became a judge on the BBC's premier dance-based reality show. Darcey tells her own story through a carefully woven choice of archive footage - beginning with her debut appearance on Blue Peter as a 16-year-old - and candid interviews filmed at intervals during her spectacular career.

Available until 23 January
Listen: BBC Radio 4 - Desert Island Discs, Darcey Bussell

5. A.Dot's Story of Grime

This film, commissioned as part of the BBC's Black and British season, follows 1Xtra's A.Dot as she investigates the origins of a sound that burst out of East London in the early 2000s and organises Grimeaggedon - an MC clash that's very much in the spirit of grime's heritage. She finds out that the music has never been in ruder health in 2016 - across the nation, not just in London - and also that the grime legends are surprisingly shy of battling younger MCs. But her clash goes ahead, with a new generation of wordsmiths verbally having it out at the BBC's studios in Maida Vale.

Available until 19 November, 2017
Watch: 6 grime performances that shut down Later... with Jools Holland

6. Storyville: Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer

From the acclaimed documentary strand Storyville comes the feature-length, Oscar-shortlisted Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, which follows the Russian feminist punk group during their now-notorious 2012 protest in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the arrest of three members, their trial, conviction and appeal. It's a story that becomes bigger than the sum of its parts, but at heart it's also a very personal tale about three women - Nadia, Masha and Katia - their families, motivations and extraordinary courage to take on the state, regardless of consequences.

Available for over a year
Watch more episodes of Storyville

7. Arena: Desert Island Discs

In 1982, the iconic Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs turned 40, and to celebrate Arena made this wonderful film. Back then, it was still being presented by its creator Roy Plomley, who's revealed to be a far more outlandish character than you might guess by listening to the multitude of archive episodes currently online. Many famous castaways speak of their love for the show, including Paul McCartney, who neatly sums up its charms by saying: "Desert Island Discs conjures up traditional British pleasures, like the great British breakfast and the Billy Cotton Band Show. It's very sort of downbeat, very relaxed - I love its homeliness."

Available for over a year
Listen: Desert Island Discs - 7 of the most shocking episodes

8. Arena: The Burger and the King

Also from Arena comes this gem of a 1996 documentary that tells you as much about Elvis as any film on his music. We all know that The King liked to eat; just how much is laid bare here in near-grotesque detail by his friends, relations and personal cooks. A picture emerges of a desperately unhappy man who took solace in a jaw-droppingly unhealthy diet that, along with an addiction to prescription drugs, led to his premature death, aged just 42. Equally, The Burger and the King is about the American South - its traditions, its cultures and, of course, its distinctive cuisine.

Available for over a year
Watch more episodes of Arena

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