The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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10  reranks 21,532 votes 1,732 voters 70,883 views by  Ranker
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The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

List Criteria: The best song writers - must be prolific

Who is the best songwriter alive today? The musician responsible for the lyrics and music that's the most memorable, significant and lasting in all of rock history, who is still with us today. We're talking, over the course of an entire career, the person who has written the most great songs--the best songwriters of the 21st century. A few things to keep in mind: (1) Songwriting teams are acceptable if they truly worked together (for example, Elton John writing music to Bernie Taupin's lyrics). When possible, as in the case of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, separate them and focus on individual songwriting. (2) LIVING songwriters. Living. (3) I think the ratio of "great songs" to "not good songs" is important to consider. If someone has 2 classic albums of great songs and then 5 albums worth of garbage, that impacts the overall view of the career, no matter how good the original work was. Something to keep in mind.

Add your own selections below and vote up the people you feel are worthy of the title of Greatest Living Rock Songwriter. PLUS, if you have Spotify, you can listen to full songs from each of the listed songwriters on our Ranker playlist!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 10 ReRanks
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 657
    Down 241

    most listed
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 551
    Down 276

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    93
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  3. 3
    Up 340
    Down 233
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    84
  4. 4
    Up 356
    Down 203
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    82
  5. 5
    Up 307
    Down 188
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    79
  6. 6
    Up 288
    Down 180

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    79
    added by: Ron Mexico
  7. 7
    Up 349
    Down 246
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    78
  8. 8
    Up 334
    Down 191
    76
    added by: Mark
  9. 9
    Up 269
    Down 163
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    73
    added by: Randolph
  10. 10
    Up 264
    Down 160
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  11. 11
    Up 323
    Down 219
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    72
    added by: Randolph
  12. 12
    Up 214
    Down 217
    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    72
  13. 13
    Up 161
    Down 144
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    71
    added by: jdbranded
  14. 14
    Up 183
    Down 180
    Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave More
    69
    added by: Mark
  15. 15
    Up 156
    Down 164
    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    69
    added by: Ariel Kana
  16. 16
    Up 177
    Down 128

    ranked low on reranks
    Carole King

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    68
    added by: KirkSaw
  17. 17
    Up 169
    Down 131
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    66
  18. 18
    Up 173
    Down 148
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    66
    added by: TVs Frank
  19. 19
    Up 177
    Down 176

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    U2

    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    63
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  20. 20
    Up 187
    Down 84

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    63
  21. 21
    Up 152
    Down 98
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  22. 22
    Up 194
    Down 141
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    63
    added by: Ariel Kana
  23. 23
    Up 148
    Down 100
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    62
    added by: KirkSaw
  24. 24
    Up 53
    Down 50

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    61
  25. 25
    Up 136
    Down 109
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    60
    added by: couchlock420
  26. 26
    Up 112
    Down 151

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rush

    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    60
    added by: KirkSaw
  27. 27
    Up 245
    Down 177

    ranked low on reranks
    Roger Waters

    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    59
    added by: Pallknowing1
  28. 28
    Up 131
    Down 122
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    58
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  29. 29
    Up 191
    Down 210
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    57
  30. 30
    Up 93
    Down 94
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    57
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  31. 31
    Up 92
    Down 88
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    55
    added by: KirkSaw
  32. 32
    Up 42
    Down 14
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
    added by: jrdale1
  33. 33
    Up 101
    Down 169
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly More
    53
    added by: LaurieM
  34. 34
    Up 112
    Down 133
    Ballad, Country pop, Pop music More
    52
    added by: Randolph
  35. 35
    Up 72
    Down 128

    often listed
    Patti Smith

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    52
    added by: LaurieM
  36. 36
    Up 126
    Down 170
    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music More
    52
  37. 37
    Up 22
    Down 27
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    52
  38. 38
    Up 72
    Down 136

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Nick Cave

    Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock More
    52
    added by: jdbranded
  39. 39
    Up 127
    Down 173
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    51
    added by: Ariel Kana
  40. 40
    Up 70
    Down 104

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Randy Newman

    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    51
    added by: KirkSaw
  41. 41
    Up 50
    Down 28

    ranked low on reranks
    Pink Floyd

    Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock More
    51
  42. 42
    Up 31
    Down 22
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    49
  43. 43
    Up 41
    Down 27
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    49
  44. 44
    Up 121
    Down 146
    Grunge, Folk rock, Alternative rock More
    49
    added by: Pallknowing1
  45. 45
    Up 54
    Down 102

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    49
  46. 46
    Up 67
    Down 104
    Synthpop, Sufi rock, Nasheed More
    48
    added by: KirkSaw
    Cat Stevens
  47. 47
    Up 24
    Down 24
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    48
  48. 48
    Up 118
    Down 142
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    48
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  49. 49
    Up 20
    Down 17
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    47
    added by: autosurvive
  50. 50
    Up 10
    Down 7
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    46
    added by: nanfan58
  51. 134 +

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