bands/musicians The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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The greatest rock songwriters of all time have a lot in common. Firstly, they are some of the biggest names in rock music history. These household names have written some of the most popular songs. Secondly, even if you aren't too familiar with these songwriters, you've definitely heard their songs at least once or twice. You may not be familiar with their names or faces, but you should know their music. For some bizarre reason, you may not have heard of John Lennon or Paul McCartney, but you definitely have heard of The Beatles and their music. The same goes for Freddie Mercury and Queen, who like The Beatles' songwriting duo, wrote some of the most popular songs in music history.

Bob Dylan is widely considered one of the first songwriters to incorporate poetry, imagery and a social consciousness to rock music. His influence ranges far and wide. Many of the songwriters on this list count Dylan as one of the most important songwriters in rock history. He may not have had the same impact as Dylan, but Kurt Cobain has proven to be one of the most important songwriters in recent history. His career may have been short, but his impact on music history cannot be understated.

It's not easy to determine which of these songwriters is the greatest of all time. It's up to you to determine who is the greatest rock songwriter of all time by voting for who you think deserves that title.
list ordered by

1
1,091 937
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters The Best Amusement Parks In America

2
1,025 1,432
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
938 1,161
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
964 1,161
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

5
938 1,161
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

6
791 1,265
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
663 745
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

8
586 1,107
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

9
804 1,257
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Freddie Mercury Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

10
514 1,145
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

11
516 1,050
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

12
488 971
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

13
437 949
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
459 903
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

15
512 883
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

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16
307 540
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

17
482 775
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

18
216 342
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

19
508 884
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

20
428 744
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

21
386 657
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

22
400 649
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

23
381 768
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
327 490
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

25
309 546
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
340 540
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

27
328 441
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

28
327 492
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

29
318 498
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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30
293 498
Prince is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

31
376 699
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

32
404 665
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

33
321 607
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

34
313 402
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

35
222 242
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

36
188 251
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
129 89
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

38
334 550
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

39
267 367
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

40
246 245
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

41
245 407
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

42
242 231
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

43
156 228
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

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44
217 243
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lindsey Buckingham New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

45
157 148
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

46
238 260
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
199 380
Sting is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

48
163 230
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

49
139 154
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

50
148 182
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music