The Greatest Songwriters of All Time Bands/Musicians
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The Greatest Songwriters of All Time

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10,761 views 104 items 3,681 votes 496 voters 20 followers 8reranks
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 Criteria: Vote on whether or not you think the songwriters should be considered the best of all time

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 187
    Down 71
    100
  2. 2
    Up 182
    Down 64
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    99
  3. 3
    Up 85
    Down 50
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    82
  4. 4
    Up 86
    Down 52
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    81
  5. 5
    Up 54
    Down 28
    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    78
  6. 6
    Up 63
    Down 40
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    78
  7. 7
    Up 67
    Down 36
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    78
  8. 8
    Up 73
    Down 56

    controversial
    Bruce Springsteen

    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    77
  9. 9
    Up 62
    Down 44
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    77
  10. 10
    Up 51
    Down 43

    most listed
    Lou Reed

    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 65
    Down 39
    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    75
  12. 12
    Up 45
    Down 35
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    73
  13. 13
    Up 61
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

    73
  14. 14
    Up 69
    Down 59

    controversial
    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    72
  15. 15
    Up 53
    Down 29
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    70
  16. 16
    Up 44
    Down 18
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    68
  17. 17
    Up 31
    Down 20
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    67
  18. 18
    Up 41
    Down 20

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    66
  19. 19
    Up 35
    Down 18
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    64
  20. 20
    Up 33
    Down 32
    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    62
  21. 21
    Up 31
    Down 37

    controversial
    Prince

    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    62
  22. 22
    Up 29
    Down 25
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    61
  23. 23
    Up 35
    Down 24
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    61
  24. 24
    Up 39
    Down 28
    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock More
    61
  25. 25
    Up 30
    Down 26
    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    61
  26. 26
    Up 29
    Down 21
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    60
  27. 27
    Up 22
    Down 17
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    59
  28. 28
    Up 29
    Down 24
    Outlaw country, Folk music, Country More
    58
  29. 29
    Up 17
    Down 25
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    58
  30. 30
    Up 8
    Down 7
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    57
    added by: wiabux
  31. 31
    Up 20
    Down 26
    Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock More
    56
  32. 32
    Up 16
    Down 15

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Neil Peart

    Progressive metal, Swing music, Heavy metal More
    56
  33. 33
    Up 31
    Down 9

    ranked low on reranks
    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Opera, Classical music More
    55
  34. 34
    Up 15
    Down 18

    often listed
    Joe Strummer

    New Wave, Ska, Rock music More
    55
  35. 35
    Up 31
    Down 10
    Opera, Ballet, Art song More
    54
  36. 36
    Up 28
    Down 8
    Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music More
    54
  37. 37
    Up 18
    Down 10
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    53
  38. 38
    Up 31
    Down 24
    Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music More
    53
  39. 39
    Up 12
    Down 16
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal More
    52
  40. 40
    Up 16
    Down 21
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    51
  41. 41
    Up 19
    Down 7
    Reggae More
    50
    added by: wiabux
  42. 42
    Up 10
    Down 15

    often listed
    Steve Earle

    Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock More
    49
  43. 43
    Up 18
    Down 23

    often listed &controversial
    Morrissey

    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly More
    48
  44. 44
    Up 16
    Down 8
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    47
    added by: wiabux
  45. 45
    Up 17
    Down 9
    Opera, Musical theatre, Film score More
    47
  46. 46
    Up 18
    Down 10
    Classical music More
    47
  47. 47
    Up 20
    Down 22
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    47
  48. 48
    Up 5
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    46
    added by: lordrocknroll
  49. 49
    Up 10
    Down 18

    often listed
    Shane MacGowan

    Celtic rock, Celtic punk, Rock music More
    45
  50. 50
    Up 3
    Down 0
    Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country More
    45
    added by: MikeTrujillo
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