The Greatest Songwriters of All Time Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
87  reranks 171,974 votes 17,086 voters 211,369 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
  • 87 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 3986
    Down 2224
    99
  2. 2
    Up 3447
    Down 2781

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    96
  3. 3
    Up 4109
    Down 2059

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    87
  4. 4
    Up 5034
    Down 3304
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    78
  5. 5
    Up 2224
    Down 1430
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    78
  6. 6
    Up 1962
    Down 1520
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    78
  7. 7
    Up 2373
    Down 2114
    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    77
  8. 8
    Up 1849
    Down 1732
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    77
  9. 9
    Up 1669
    Down 1280
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    75
  10. 10
    Up 1376
    Down 597
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    73
  11. 11
    Up 1673
    Down 1607
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    73
  12. 12
    Up 1529
    Down 1518
    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    71
  13. 13
    Up 1340
    Down 1387

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    David Bowie

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 1465
    Down 1158

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    69
  15. 15
    Up 741
    Down 263

    ranked low on reranks
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    69
    added by: JasonWitherspoon
  16. 16
    Up 899
    Down 680
    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana More
    67
    added by: mjhegger
  17. 17
    Up 1448
    Down 1231
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    67
  18. 18
    Up 1229
    Down 1340

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Tom Waits

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    66
  19. 19
    Up 1224
    Down 900
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    65
  20. 20
    Up 1727
    Down 1659

    ranked high on reranks
    Tori Amos

    Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Electronic dance music More
    65
    added by: tomeksj
  21. 21
    Up 1172
    Down 825
    Opera, Ballet, Art song More
    64
  22. 22
    Up 1010
    Down 676
    Opera, Musical theatre, Film score More
    64
  23. 23
    Up 676
    Down 358
    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly More
    63
  24. 24
    Up 1098
    Down 1069
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    63
  25. 25
    Up 867
    Down 820
    Reggae More
    63
    added by: wiabux
  26. 26
    Up 688
    Down 631
    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    63
    added by: StacyWolfe
  27. 27
    Up 1104
    Down 876
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    62
    added by: wiabux
  28. 28
    Up 1007
    Down 977
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    62
  29. 29
    Up 1068
    Down 1026
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    62
  30. 30
    Up 786
    Down 696
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    61
  31. 31
    Up 1432
    Down 1109
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    61
    added by: tomeksj
  32. 32
    Up 1316
    Down 1532
    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    61
  33. 33
    Up 988
    Down 845
    Opera, Classical music More
    60
  34. 34
    Up 791
    Down 782
    Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music More
    60
  35. 35
    Up 866
    Down 829
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    59
  36. 36
    Up 844
    Down 954
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    59
  37. 37
    Up 811
    Down 1213

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lou Reed

    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
    58
  38. 38
    Up 459
    Down 601
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    57
    added by: wiabux
  39. 39
    Up 905
    Down 742
    Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music More
    55
    added by: JoeVojtko
  40. 40
    Up 755
    Down 790
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    55
  41. 41
    Up 589
    Down 617
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    55
    added by: StacyWolfe
  42. 42
    Up 910
    Down 526

    ranked low on reranks
    Todd Rundgren

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    55
    added by: chefsteve
  43. 43
    Up 795
    Down 726
    Classical music More
    54
  44. 44
    Up 621
    Down 749
    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    54
    added by: MohammadrezaMomeni
  45. 45
    Up 759
    Down 827
    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock More
    52
  46. 46
    Up 590
    Down 566
    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    52
    added by: MaeganBell
  47. 47
    Up 561
    Down 759
    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    51
  48. 48
    Up 654
    Down 1077

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    51
  49. 49
    Up 490
    Down 528
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    51
  50. 50
    Up 503
    Down 635
    Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave More
    50
    added by: BillWensel
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