The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
home Music Bands/Musicians | Tags

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

original ranker
57,889 views 164 items 15,868 votes 1,243 voters 39 followers 10reranks
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 Criteria: The best song writers - must be prolific

< >
  • the crowd
  • 10 reranks
  • experts
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a Ranked by
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
Score
  1. 119
    Up 5
    Down 6
    No image

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    29
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  2. 87
    Up 1
    Down 0
    Adult album alternative, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    30
  3. 65
    Up 22
    Down 27
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    35
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  4. 12
    Up 119
    Down 88
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    71
    added by: KirkSaw
  5. 49
    Up 7
    Down 9
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    44
    added by: kerijonuts
  6. 27
    Up 69
    Down 56
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    58
    added by: KirkSaw
  7. 74
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Adult contemporary music, Rock music, Jazz More
    31
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  8. 157
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Alternative country More
    27
  9. 143
    Up 52
    Down 91

    about to drop off
    Beck Hansen

    Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap More
    27
    added by: Randolph
  10. 137
    Up 1
    Down 3
    Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz More
    28
  11. 145
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Alternative rock More
    27
  12. 50
    Up 34
    Down 67

    controversial
    Jeff Tweedy

    Alternative rock, Alternative country More
    42
    added by: Alby Thompson
  13. 60
    Up 24
    Down 51
    Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    38
    added by: LaurieM
  14. 152
    Up 0
    Down 2
    American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music More
    27
  15. 7
    Up 282
    Down 197

    controversial
    Bruce Springsteen

    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    77
  16. 17
    Up 153
    Down 111

    controversial
    John Fogerty

    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    66
    added by: Ariel Kana
  17. 113
    Up 1
    Down 1
    Americana, Country pop, Country rock More
    29
  18. 56
    Up 9
    Down 32
    Americana, Folk music, Folk rock More
    40
    added by: LaurieM
  19. 55
    Up 24
    Down 51
    Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock More
    40
    added by: Clark Benson
  20. 51
    Up 17
    Down 43
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    41
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  21. 100
    Up 2
    Down 1
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    30
    added by: autosurvive
  22. 59
    Up 3
    Down 6
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    38
    added by: biker terry
    f
  23. 90
    Up 1
    Down 0
    Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll More
    30
  24. 32
    Up 97
    Down 101

    controversial
    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop, Pop music More
    55
    added by: Randolph
  25. 22
    Up 98
    Down 82
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  26. 70
    Up 7
    Down 4
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    31
    added by: Cory85
  27. 39
    Up 95
    Down 112
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    48
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  28. 83
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal More
    31
  29. 6
    Up 260
    Down 164
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    78
    added by: Randolph
  30. 29
    Up 25
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    58
  31. 82
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Hard rock More
    31
    added by: autosurvive
  32. 85
    Up 3
    Down 1
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    30
  33. 14
    Up 118
    Down 62
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    67
    added by: couchlock420
  34. 47
    Up 7
    Down 2
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    44
  35. 121
    Up 2
    Down 3
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    29
  36. 73
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music More
    31
    added by: autosurvive
  37. 21
    Up 100
    Down 76
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  38. 141
    Up 1
    Down 3
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    28
  39. 2
    Up 437
    Down 223

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    93
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  40. 91
    Up 1
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    30
    added by: autosurvive
  41. 95
    Up 2
    Down 1
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    30
    added by: autosurvive
  42. 45
    Up 54
    Down 98

    controversial
    Patti Smith

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    45
    added by: LaurieM
  43. 89
    Up 1
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    30
  44. 75
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Bubblegum pop, New Wave, Rock music More
    31
  45. 144
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Chicano rock, Heartland rock, Alternative rock More
    27
  46. 123
    Up 1
    Down 2
    Christian music More
    29
  47. 153
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    27
  48. 133
    Up 0
    Down 1
    Christian music, Contemporary Christian music, Alternative country More
    28
  49. 136
    Up 0
    Down 1
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    28
  50. 34
    Up 65
    Down 65
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  51. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 37 MORE

items 1 - 50 of 164

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

    more popular lists