bands/musicians These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time  

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List Rules 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 ordered by

1
+ - 5,936 3,909
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

Meet Max Martin: The Genius Who Wrote All Your Favorite Songs The Best Current Procedural Dramas

2
+ - 5,275 4,304
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde

3
+ - 3,424 2,495
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Paul Simon Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What

4
+ - 5,121 3,629
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Brian Wilson SMiLE, What I Really Want for Christmas, Orange Crate Art

5
+ - 2,319 2,640
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

6
+ - 2,636 3,174
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Neil Young Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush

7
+ - 5,859 4,991
Prince is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

8
+ - 3,046 2,970
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
George Harrison All Things Must Pass, Cloud Nine, Living in the Material World

9
+ - 2,355 2,566
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

10
+ - 2,912 3,515
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Joni Mitchell Blue, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon

11
+ - 2,491 1,900
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
John Lennon Imagine, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Double Fantasy

12
+ - 2,445 3,002
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

13
+ - 2,107 2,667
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Leonard Cohen Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs of Love and Hate, Old Ideas

14
+ - 1,770 1,370
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Paul McCartney Flaming Pie, Ram, McCartney

15
+ - 2,123 2,220
Elton John and Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

Rock Stars Who Died at Age 29 Songs That Were Total Ripoffs

16
+ - 636 279
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends

17
+ - 549 324
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Peter Lennodo Tomorrow is Yesterday

18
+ - 1,630 1,658
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Johnny Cash American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison

19
+ - 2,082 2,158
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Ray Davies Working Man's Café, The Storyteller, Thanksgiving Day

20
+ - 1,806 1,745
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Carole King Tapestry, Wrap Around Joy, Music

21
+ - 1,718 1,672
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Billy Joel The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

22
+ - 1,580 1,747
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Pete Townshend Empty Glass, Psychoderelict (Music Only), White City

23
+ - 1,530 1,722
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Van Morrison Astral Weeks, Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview

24
+ - 1,675 2,157
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Tom Waits Rain Dogs, Mule Variations, Blood Money

25
+ - 1,351 1,526
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Bob Marley Sun Is Shining, One Love, Rainbow Country

26
+ - 1,429 1,653
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

27
+ - 1,472 1,311
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
George Gershwin Masters of the Roll (disc 1), An American in Paris, Porgy & Bess

28
+ - 801 689
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Freddie Mercury The Solo Collection, Barcelona, Mr. Bad Guy

29
+ - 1,686 1,390
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Eternal Classics

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30
+ - 1,256 1,399
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
John Fogerty Deja Vu All Over Again, Hoodoo, Centerfield

31
+ - 1,074 966
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Buddy Holly Buddy, 20 Golden Greats, What You Been A-Missin': What You've Been A-Missin'

32
+ - 1,135 1,250
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Chuck Berry The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars

33
+ - 1,032 1,246
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
James Taylor Sweet Baby James, A Christmas Album, James Taylor at Christmas

34
+ - 1,045 1,247
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Roger Waters The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Amused to Death, When the Wind Blows

35
+ - 721 834
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Jim Morrison Paris Jim, Dionysus

36
+ - 1,113 1,525
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Elvis Costello This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!!

37
+ - 1,388 1,347
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (feat. piano: Cyprien Katsaris)

38
+ - 1,130 1,697
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Lou Reed Transformer, Berlin, New York

39
+ - 1,501 2,059
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Warren Zevon Excitable Boy, The Wind, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: An Anthology

40
+ - 968 1,042
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Tom Petty Full Moon Fever, Wildflowers, Highway Companion

41
+ - 1,120 1,211
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Hank Williams Cold, Cold Heart, Beyond the Sunset

42
+ - 1,056 1,238
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel, Us, Security

43
+ - 768 1,027
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Willie Nelson Heroes, Pretty Paper, Countryman

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44
+ - 242 131
Mick Jagger/keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

45
+ - 1,643 1,664
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Kate Bush Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

46
+ - 887 985
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

47
+ - 1,842 2,237
Tori Amos is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Tori Amos Little Earthquakes, From the Choirgirl Hotel, Strange Little Girls

48
+ - 493 484
Smokey Robinson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Smokey Robinson Warm Thoughts, Where There's Smoke, Anthology (disc 3)

49
+ - 499 446
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Marvin Gaye What's Going On, Here, My Dear

50
+ - 1,077 1,037
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Die kompletten Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach, The Organ Works, Bach Edition