The Greatest Songwriters of All Time Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
83  reranks 162,120 votes 16,521 voters 203,255 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
  • 83 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 3889
    Down 2144
    100
  2. 2
    Up 3357
    Down 2698

    most listed
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    96
  3. 3
    Up 3912
    Down 1300

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    95
  4. 4
    Up 2090
    Down 1371
    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    78
  5. 5
    Up 1893
    Down 1461
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    78
  6. 6
    Up 4571
    Down 3187
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    78
  7. 7
    Up 1792
    Down 1681
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    78
  8. 8
    Up 2274
    Down 2042
    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    78
  9. 9
    Up 1623
    Down 1222
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    76
  10. 10
    Up 1318
    Down 551
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    74
  11. 11
    Up 1532
    Down 1453
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    73
  12. 12
    Up 1462
    Down 1457

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Leonard Cohen

    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    72
  13. 13
    Up 1310
    Down 1330

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    David Bowie

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    71
  14. 14
    Up 1429
    Down 1105

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    70
  15. 15
    Up 684
    Down 218

    ranked low on reranks
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    68
    added by: JasonWitherspoon
  16. 16
    Up 873
    Down 634
    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana More
    67
    added by: mjhegger
  17. 17
    Up 1370
    Down 1196
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    67
  18. 18
    Up 1117
    Down 1295

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Tom Waits

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    65
  19. 19
    Up 1180
    Down 869
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    65
  20. 20
    Up 1143
    Down 791
    Opera, Ballet, Art song More
    65
  21. 21
    Up 975
    Down 649
    Opera, Musical theatre, Film score More
    64
  22. 22
    Up 640
    Down 334
    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly More
    64
  23. 23
    Up 1069
    Down 1042
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    63
  24. 24
    Up 978
    Down 937
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    63
  25. 25
    Up 1066
    Down 837
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    62
    added by: wiabux
  26. 26
    Up 1038
    Down 997
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    62
  27. 27
    Up 668
    Down 593
    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    62
    added by: StacyWolfe
  28. 28
    Up 1459
    Down 1604
    Piano rock, Dark cabaret, Electronic dance music More
    62
    added by: tomeksj
  29. 29
    Up 845
    Down 788
    Reggae More
    62
    added by: wiabux
  30. 30
    Up 1227
    Down 1496

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Warren Zevon

    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    61
  31. 31
    Up 757
    Down 674
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    61
  32. 32
    Up 965
    Down 818
    Opera, Classical music More
    61
  33. 33
    Up 837
    Down 803
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    60
  34. 34
    Up 814
    Down 923
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    59
  35. 35
    Up 1218
    Down 1068
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    59
    added by: tomeksj
  36. 36
    Up 798
    Down 1177

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lou Reed

    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
    59
  37. 37
    Up 761
    Down 757
    Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music More
    58
  38. 38
    Up 436
    Down 579

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Willie Nelson

    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    55
    added by: wiabux
  39. 39
    Up 736
    Down 755
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    55
  40. 40
    Up 598
    Down 716
    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    54
    added by: MohammadrezaMomeni
  41. 41
    Up 778
    Down 700
    Classical music More
    54
  42. 42
    Up 549
    Down 589
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    54
    added by: StacyWolfe
  43. 43
    Up 743
    Down 793
    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock More
    53
  44. 44
    Up 553
    Down 533
    Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    52
    added by: MaeganBell
  45. 45
    Up 749
    Down 497

    ranked low on reranks
    Todd Rundgren

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    52
    added by: chefsteve
  46. 46
    Up 726
    Down 704
    Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music More
    52
    added by: JoeVojtko
  47. 47
    Up 640
    Down 1040

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    52
  48. 48
    Up 547
    Down 727
    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    51
  49. 49
    Up 332
    Down 344
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock More
    50
    added by: JoshuaPugh
  50. 50
    Up 463
    Down 511
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    49
  51. 219 +

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