The Greatest Songwriters of All Time Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
90  reranks 181,991 votes 17,859 voters 230,637 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
  • 90 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 4132
    Down 2379
    98
  2. 2
    Up 3606
    Down 2918

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    95
  3. 3
    Up 4313
    Down 2191

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    87
  4. 4
    Up 5159
    Down 3500
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    77
  5. 5
    Up 2040
    Down 1677
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    76
  6. 6
    Up 2298
    Down 1593
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    76
  7. 7
    Up 2441
    Down 2263
    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    76
  8. 8
    Up 1919
    Down 1871
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    76
  9. 9
    Up 1747
    Down 1414
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    74
  10. 10
    Up 1475
    Down 713

    ranked low on reranks
    John Lennon

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    71
  11. 11
    Up 1586
    Down 1650
    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    71
  12. 12
    Up 1752
    Down 1752
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    71
  13. 13
    Up 1437
    Down 1490

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    David Bowie

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 1654
    Down 1331
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    67
  15. 15
    Up 1529
    Down 1301

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    67
  16. 16
    Up 983
    Down 767
    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana More
    66
    added by: mjhegger
  17. 17
    Up 826
    Down 378

    ranked low on reranks
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    65
    added by: JasonWitherspoon
  18. 18
    Up 1280
    Down 1447

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Tom Waits

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    65
  19. 19
    Up 1289
    Down 986
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    64
  20. 20
    Up 1085
    Down 744
    Opera, Musical theatre, Film score More
    63
  21. 21
    Up 1233
    Down 894
    Opera, Ballet, Art song More
    63
  22. 22
    Up 733
    Down 415
    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly More
    62
  23. 23
    Up 1744
    Down 1773
    Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Electronic dance music More
    62
    added by: tomeksj
  24. 24
    Up 1153
    Down 1144
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    62
  25. 25
    Up 912
    Down 888
    Reggae More
    61
    added by: wiabux
  26. 26
    Up 1113
    Down 1083
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    61
  27. 27
    Up 1152
    Down 950
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
    added by: wiabux
  28. 28
    Up 720
    Down 712
    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    60
    added by: StacyWolfe
  29. 29
    Up 837
    Down 752
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    60
  30. 30
    Up 1037
    Down 1053
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    60
  31. 31
    Up 1343
    Down 1600
    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    59
  32. 32
    Up 1032
    Down 901
    Opera, Classical music More
    59
  33. 33
    Up 838
    Down 835
    Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music More
    58
  34. 34
    Up 1451
    Down 1206
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    58
    added by: tomeksj
  35. 35
    Up 904
    Down 889
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    58
  36. 36
    Up 886
    Down 1026
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    57
  37. 37
    Up 848
    Down 1282

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lou Reed

    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
    56
  38. 38
    Up 503
    Down 659
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    55
    added by: wiabux
  39. 39
    Up 786
    Down 862
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
  40. 40
    Up 234
    Down 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Gene Clark

    Folk music, Folk rock, Country rock More
    54
    added by: MichaelSchreck
  41. 41
    Up 634
    Down 681
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    53
    added by: StacyWolfe
  42. 42
    Up 657
    Down 816

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Roger Waters

    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    53
    added by: MohammadrezaMomeni
  43. 43
    Up 931
    Down 605

    ranked low on reranks
    Todd Rundgren

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    53
    added by: chefsteve
  44. 44
    Up 924
    Down 819
    Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music More
    52
    added by: JoeVojtko
  45. 45
    Up 826
    Down 780
    Classical music More
    52
  46. 46
    Up 792
    Down 889
    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock More
    51
  47. 47
    Up 618
    Down 642
    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    50
    added by: MaeganBell
  48. 48
    Up 523
    Down 578
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    49
  49. 49
    Up 698
    Down 1152

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    49
  50. 50
    Up 591
    Down 831
    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    49
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