The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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11  reranks 23,155 votes 1,887 voters 73,519 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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    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 690
    Down 294

    most listed
    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 586
    Down 310

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    94
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  3. 3
    Up 355
    Down 203
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    82
  4. 4
    Up 371
    Down 252
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    81
  5. 5
    Up 361
    Down 292
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    78
  6. 6
    Up 347
    Down 278
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    77
  7. 7
    Up 351
    Down 234
    76
    added by: Mark
  8. 8
    Up 178
    Down 167

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Van Morrison

    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    73
    added by: jdbranded
  9. 9
    Up 301
    Down 228

    Elton John and Bernie Taupin

    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  10. 10
    Up 336
    Down 262
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    72
    added by: Randolph
  11. 11
    Up 273
    Down 196
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  12. 12
    Up 233
    Down 236

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Leonard Cohen

    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    68
  13. 13
    Up 276
    Down 196
    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat More
    67
    added by: Randolph
  14. 14
    Up 206
    Down 138
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    66
  15. 15
    Up 193
    Down 147
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    65
    added by: KirkSaw
  16. 16
    Up 160
    Down 123
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    64
    added by: couchlock420
  17. 17
    Up 161
    Down 192

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Joni Mitchell

    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    64
    added by: Ariel Kana
  18. 18
    Up 153
    Down 123
    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll More
    63
    added by: KirkSaw
  19. 19
    Up 188
    Down 212

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Sting

    Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave More
    63
    added by: Mark
  20. 20
    Up 224
    Down 102

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    63
  21. 21
    Up 182
    Down 156

    ranked low on reranks
    Peter Gabriel

    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
    added by: TVs Frank
  22. 22
    Up 58
    Down 61

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    63
  23. 23
    Up 108
    Down 99
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  24. 24
    Up 203
    Down 150

    ranked low on reranks
    John Fogerty

    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    61
    added by: Ariel Kana
  25. 25
    Up 182
    Down 187
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    60
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  26. 26
    Up 52
    Down 21
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    59
    added by: jrdale1
  27. 27
    Up 143
    Down 115
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    58
    added by: couchlock420
  28. 28
    Up 254
    Down 181
    Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    58
    added by: Pallknowing1
  29. 29
    Up 65
    Down 32
    Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock More
    58
  30. 30
    Up 115
    Down 158

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rush

    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    57
    added by: KirkSaw
  31. 31
    Up 118
    Down 140
    Ballad, Country pop, Pop music More
    56
    added by: Randolph
  32. 32
    Up 134
    Down 133
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    56
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  33. 33
    Up 196
    Down 215
    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock More
    55
  34. 34
    Up 51
    Down 35
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
  35. 35
    Up 97
    Down 92
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    54
    added by: KirkSaw
  36. 36
    Up 137
    Down 148
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    53
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  37. 37
    Up 159
    Down 138
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    53
    added by: Ron Mexico
  38. 38
    Up 31
    Down 31
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    52
  39. 39
    Up 56
    Down 108

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    51
  40. 40
    Up 133
    Down 172
    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music More
    51
  41. 41
    Up 40
    Down 44
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    51
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  42. 42
    Up 76
    Down 106
    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    51
    added by: KirkSaw
  43. 43
    Up 78
    Down 131
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    50
    added by: LaurieM
  44. 44
    Up 105
    Down 178
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly More
    50
    added by: LaurieM
  45. 45
    Up 134
    Down 176
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    50
    added by: Ariel Kana
  46. 46
    Up 41
    Down 26
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    50
  47. 47
    Up 37
    Down 28
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    49
  48. 48
    Up 76
    Down 141

    often listed
    Nick Cave

    Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock More
    49
    added by: jdbranded
  49. 49
    Up 53
    Down 85
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    48
  50. 50
    Up 24
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    47
  51. 132 +

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