bands/musicians The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

Originally by
73k votes 5k voters 40k views 297 items Follow Embed
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
+ - 1,029 913
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

Rock Stars Who Have Aged Surprisingly Well The Best Airlines for Domestic Travel in the US

2
+ - 1,009 1,358
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
+ - 943 1,145
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

4
+ - 869 1,145
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
+ - 878 1,145
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
+ - 773 1,198
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
+ - 622 668
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
+ - 582 1,034
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
+ - 794 1,188
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
+ - 479 905
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

11
+ - 506 1,075
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

12
+ - 507 987
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
+ - 434 883
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
+ - 474 732
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

15
+ - 318 579
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters 30 Famous People Who Once Were in Marching Bands

16
+ - 450 842
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

17
+ - 334 519
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

18
+ - 313 454
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

19
+ - 423 694
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

20
+ - 367 672
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

21
+ - 324 455
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

22
+ - 501 860
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

23
+ - 394 600
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

24
+ - 374 745
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

25
+ - 506 833
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

26
+ - 297 516
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
+ - 301 524
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

28
+ - 319 472
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
+ - 320 388
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time The Worst Noises Your Neighbors Make

30
+ - 380 639
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

31
+ - 396 645
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

32
+ - 212 333
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

33
+ - 290 489
Prince is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

34
+ - 308 391
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
+ - 185 245
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

36
+ - 218 239
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

37
+ - 329 547
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

38
+ - 244 241
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

39
+ - 125 80
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

40
+ - 262 364
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

41
+ - 238 406
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
+ - 151 227
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

43
+ - 235 229
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely The Best Pop Art Artists

44
+ - 196 376
Sting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

45
+ - 235 256
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

46
+ - 152 146
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

47
+ - 161 227
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

48
+ - 147 178
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

49
+ - 137 152
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
+ - 213 240
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lindsey Buckingham New Wave, Pop music, Rock music