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

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

original ranker
57,895 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. 65
    Up 22
    Down 27
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    35
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  2. 74
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Adult contemporary music, Rock music, Jazz More
    31
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  3. 119
    Up 5
    Down 6
    No image

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    29
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  4. 70
    Up 7
    Down 4
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    31
    added by: Cory85
  5. 61
    Up 123
    Down 121
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    37
    added by: Ron Mexico
  6. 121
    Up 2
    Down 3
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    29
  7. 27
    Up 69
    Down 56
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    58
    added by: KirkSaw
  8. 10
    Up 221
    Down 128
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    71
    added by: Ron Mexico
  9. 153
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    27
  10. 102
    Up 0
    Down 0
    Nu metal, Heavy metal, Modern rock More
    30
  11. 90
    Up 1
    Down 0
    Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll More
    30
  12. 137
    Up 1
    Down 3
    Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz More
    28
  13. 132
    Up 0
    Down 1
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country More
    28
  14. 115
    Up 2
    Down 2
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    29
  15. 128
    Up 0
    Down 1
    Folk rock, Alternative country More
    28
  16. 136
    Up 0
    Down 1
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    28
  17. 110
    Up 3
    Down 3
    Indie pop, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    29
  18. 148
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Folk rock, Alternative rock More
    27
  19. 138
    Up 1
    Down 3
    Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country More
    28
  20. 53
    Up 29
    Down 59
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    41
    added by: KirkSaw
  21. 34
    Up 65
    Down 65
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  22. 9
    Up 244
    Down 146
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    71
  23. 96
    Up 2
    Down 1
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    30
    added by: autosurvive
  24. 36
    Up 98
    Down 114

    controversial
    Eddie Vedder

    Grunge, Folk rock, Alternative rock More
    52
    added by: Pallknowing1
  25. 141
    Up 1
    Down 3
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    28
  26. 13
    Up 164
    Down 177

    controversial
    Leonard Cohen

    Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word More
    69
  27. 72
    Up 10
    Down 8
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    31
  28. 158
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Rock music, Folk music, Jazz More
    27
  29. 126
    Up 0
    Down 1
    Pop music, Folk music, Pop folk More
    28
  30. 5
    Up 276
    Down 185
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge More
    83
  31. 28
    Up 86
    Down 112

    controversial
    Rush

    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    58
    added by: KirkSaw
  32. 15
    Up 120
    Down 119

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Joni Mitchell

    Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz More
    67
    added by: Ariel Kana
  33. 79
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock More
    31
  34. 163
    Up 0
    Down 3
    Ska, Reggae More
    26
  35. 29
    Up 25
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    58
  36. 156
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Neo-psychedelia, Experimental music, Alternative rock More
    27
  37. 104
    Up 0
    Down 0
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    30
  38. 160
    Up 0
    Down 2
    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop More
    27
  39. 7
    Up 282
    Down 197

    controversial
    Bruce Springsteen

    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    77
  40. 39
    Up 95
    Down 112
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    48
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  41. 95
    Up 2
    Down 1
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    30
    added by: autosurvive
  42. 21
    Up 100
    Down 76
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  43. 83
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal More
    31
  44. 80
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    31
  45. 108
    Up 21
    Down 29
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    29
    added by: ConnieStarnes
  46. 38
    Up 36
    Down 46
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    49
  47. 22
    Up 98
    Down 82
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  48. 40
    Up 81
    Down 136

    often listed &controversial
    Morrissey

    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly More
    48
    added by: LaurieM
  49. 73
    Up 2
    Down 0
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music More
    31
    added by: autosurvive
  50. 94
    Up 46
    Down 65
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music More
    30
    added by: JesusAlonso
    The Cure
  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