The Greatest Songwriters of All Time Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
88  reranks 179,222 votes 17,652 voters 223,851 views more info

The Greatest Songwriters of All Time

List Criteria: Vote on whether or not you think the songwriters should be considered the best of all time

If you ask anyone who has ever tried, it's tough to write one song, nevertheless a batch to be considered a songwriter. Add to the mix that the song actually getting recorded and becoming a hit, it's pretty hard to be a great songwriter. Yet that's what make the greatest songwriters different from Average Joe who has tried to pen a song. The best songwriters usually have written multiple hits that not only their most ardent fans know, but also casual listeners.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are considered two the best songwriters. The Beatles were fueled by this legendary duo's prowess and are debatably the greatest band because these two outstanding songwriters.

Similarly to Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan is another songwriter who can be considered one of the greatest of all time. Dylan's songwriting introduced powerful imagery and themes that were deeply layered within the context of his writing. His songwriting influenced an entire generation of bands, songwriters and fans, including another member of this list, Bruce Springsteen.

This is the Ultimate List of the greatest songwriters of all time. Everyone on this list is considered one of the best at his or her craft. Vote for the songwriter who you think is the greatest, which shouldn't be too easy with a list like this one.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 88 ReRanks
    • Women
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 4075
    Down 2336
    98
  2. 2
    Up 3549
    Down 2878

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    95
  3. 3
    Up 4269
    Down 2157

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    86
  4. 4
    Up 5111
    Down 3459
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    77
  5. 5
    Up 2002
    Down 1648
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    77
  6. 6
    Up 2273
    Down 1551
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    77
  7. 7
    Up 2419
    Down 2235
    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    76
  8. 8
    Up 1892
    Down 1839
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    76
  9. 9
    Up 1719
    Down 1392
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    74
  10. 10
    Up 1442
    Down 684
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    72
  11. 11
    Up 1728
    Down 1719
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    72
  12. 12
    Up 1563
    Down 1623
    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    71
  13. 13
    Up 1397
    Down 1476
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 1629
    Down 1312
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    68
  15. 15
    Up 1503
    Down 1273

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    68
  16. 16
    Up 948
    Down 745
    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana More
    66
    added by: mjhegger
  17. 17
    Up 1258
    Down 1426

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Tom Waits

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    66
  18. 18
    Up 795
    Down 352

    ranked low on reranks
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    66
    added by: JasonWitherspoon
  19. 19
    Up 1264
    Down 965
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    65
  20. 20
    Up 1058
    Down 729
    Opera, Musical theatre, Film score More
    64
  21. 21
    Up 1204
    Down 881
    Opera, Ballet, Art song More
    63
  22. 22
    Up 1735
    Down 1749
    Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Electronic dance music More
    63
    added by: tomeksj
  23. 23
    Up 1137
    Down 1130
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    63
  24. 24
    Up 710
    Down 403

    ranked low on reranks
    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly More
    62
  25. 25
    Up 895
    Down 875
    Reggae More
    62
    added by: wiabux
  26. 26
    Up 1128
    Down 943
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
    added by: wiabux
  27. 27
    Up 1094
    Down 1073
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    61
  28. 28
    Up 702
    Down 698
    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    61
    added by: StacyWolfe
  29. 29
    Up 1023
    Down 1040
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    61
  30. 30
    Up 818
    Down 739
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    61
  31. 31
    Up 1334
    Down 1591
    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    60
  32. 32
    Up 1013
    Down 894
    Opera, Classical music More
    60
  33. 33
    Up 1442
    Down 1191
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    59
    added by: tomeksj
  34. 34
    Up 822
    Down 827
    Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music More
    59
  35. 35
    Up 889
    Down 881
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    58
  36. 36
    Up 876
    Down 1012
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    58
  37. 37
    Up 837
    Down 1270

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lou Reed

    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
    57
  38. 38
    Up 486
    Down 650
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    56
    added by: wiabux
  39. 39
    Up 611
    Down 675
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    54
    added by: StacyWolfe
  40. 40
    Up 768
    Down 853
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
  41. 41
    Up 214
    Down 59

    ranked low on reranks
    Gene Clark

    Folk music, Folk rock, Country rock More
    54
    added by: MichaelSchreck
  42. 42
    Up 919
    Down 808
    Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music More
    53
    added by: JoeVojtko
  43. 43
    Up 925
    Down 592

    ranked low on reranks
    Todd Rundgren

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    53
    added by: chefsteve
  44. 44
    Up 815
    Down 774
    Classical music More
    53
  45. 45
    Up 646
    Down 806
    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    53
    added by: MohammadrezaMomeni
  46. 46
    Up 777
    Down 883
    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock More
    51
  47. 47
    Up 603
    Down 631
    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    51
    added by: MaeganBell
  48. 48
    Up 682
    Down 1136

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    50
  49. 49
    Up 575
    Down 823
    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    50
  50. 50
    Up 513
    Down 572
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    50
  51. 206 +

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