The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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11  reranks 23,944 votes 1,934 voters 74,401 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
  • 11 ReRanks
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    • Men
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    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 695
    Down 319

    most listed
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 593
    Down 333

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    94
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  3. 3
    Up 381
    Down 206
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    85
  4. 4
    Up 376
    Down 275
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    80
  5. 5
    Up 363
    Down 315
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    77
  6. 6
    Up 353
    Down 299
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    77
  7. 7
    Up 355
    Down 257
    76
    added by: Mark
  8. 8
    Up 192
    Down 177
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    74
    added by: jdbranded
  9. 9
    Up 306
    Down 249

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  10. 10
    Up 278
    Down 216
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  11. 11
    Up 338
    Down 287
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    71
    added by: Randolph
  12. 12
    Up 250
    Down 246

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Leonard Cohen

    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    70
  13. 13
    Up 229
    Down 139
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    69
  14. 14
    Up 212
    Down 150
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    67
    added by: KirkSaw
  15. 15
    Up 279
    Down 217
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    67
    added by: Randolph
  16. 16
    Up 70
    Down 65

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    65
  17. 17
    Up 194
    Down 161
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    64
    added by: TVs Frank
  18. 18
    Up 163
    Down 135
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    64
    added by: KirkSaw
  19. 19
    Up 167
    Down 208

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Joni Mitchell

    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    63
    added by: Ariel Kana
  20. 20
    Up 118
    Down 101
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  21. 21
    Up 163
    Down 141
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  22. 22
    Up 232
    Down 116

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    63
  23. 23
    Up 190
    Down 228

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Sting

    Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave More
    63
    added by: Mark
  24. 24
    Up 206
    Down 157
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    61
    added by: Ariel Kana
  25. 25
    Up 59
    Down 23
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
    added by: jrdale1
  26. 26
    Up 184
    Down 196
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    60
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  27. 27
    Up 144
    Down 124
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    58
    added by: couchlock420
  28. 28
    Up 255
    Down 190
    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    58
    added by: Pallknowing1
  29. 29
    Up 67
    Down 41
    Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock More
    57
  30. 30
    Up 115
    Down 167

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rush

    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    56
    added by: KirkSaw
  31. 31
    Up 121
    Down 144
    Ballad, Country pop, Pop music More
    56
    added by: Randolph
  32. 32
    Up 201
    Down 216
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    56
  33. 33
    Up 136
    Down 139
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    56
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  34. 34
    Up 56
    Down 37
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    55
  35. 35
    Up 100
    Down 96
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    54
    added by: KirkSaw
  36. 36
    Up 165
    Down 139
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    54
    added by: Ron Mexico
  37. 37
    Up 138
    Down 153
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    54
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  38. 38
    Up 36
    Down 32
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    53
  39. 39
    Up 138
    Down 173
    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music More
    52
  40. 40
    Up 81
    Down 107
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    52
    added by: KirkSaw
  41. 41
    Up 44
    Down 26
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    51
  42. 42
    Up 56
    Down 113

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    51
  43. 43
    Up 41
    Down 47
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    51
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  44. 44
    Up 136
    Down 177
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    51
    added by: Ariel Kana
  45. 45
    Up 78
    Down 134
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    51
    added by: LaurieM
  46. 46
    Up 40
    Down 29
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    50
  47. 47
    Up 105
    Down 181

    often listed
    Morrissey

    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly More
    50
    added by: LaurieM
  48. 48
    Up 78
    Down 142

    often listed
    Nick Cave

    Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock More
    50
    added by: jdbranded
  49. 49
    Up 54
    Down 87

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ozzy Osbourne

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    48
  50. 50
    Up 27
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks
    Eric Clapton

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    48
  51. 130 +

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