The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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10  reranks 21,452 votes 1,719 voters 70,766 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. 56
    Up 35
    Down 39
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    43
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  2. 126
    Up 10
    Down 16

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    32
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  3. 41
    Up 127
    Down 173
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    51
    added by: Ariel Kana
  4. 113
    Up 15
    Down 18
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    33
    added by: Cory85
  5. 107
    Up 7
    Down 11
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal More
    33
  6. 37
    Up 22
    Down 27
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    52
  7. 51
    Up 26
    Down 61

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lucinda Williams

    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    46
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  8. 79
    Up 11
    Down 49

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Patty Griffin

    Americana, Folk music, Folk rock More
    37
    added by: LaurieM
  9. 88
    Up 13
    Down 13
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    36
  10. 130
    Up 5
    Down 11
    Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country More
    31
  11. 13
    Up 160
    Down 142
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    71
    added by: jdbranded
  12. 52
    Up 37
    Down 75

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Kate Bush

    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    46
    added by: KirkSaw
  13. 117
    Up 29
    Down 41
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    33
    added by: ConnieStarnes
  14. 30
    Up 93
    Down 94
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    56
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  15. 11
    Up 323
    Down 216
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    72
    added by: Randolph
  16. 54
    Up 51
    Down 78
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    45
  17. 111
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music More
    33
    added by: Honda
  18. 114
    Up 54
    Down 77
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music More
    33
    added by: JesusAlonso
    The Cure
  19. 108
    Up 7
    Down 13
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    33
  20. 5
    Up 307
    Down 185
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    79
  21. 67
    Up 14
    Down 39
    Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music More
    39
    added by: danmedsker
  22. 45
    Up 54
    Down 102

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    49
  23. 103
    Up 16
    Down 16
    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    34
    added by: ChanczProwess
  24. 25
    Up 136
    Down 108
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    60
    added by: couchlock420
  25. 61
    Up 14
    Down 35
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    41
    added by: bdfsu157
  26. 24
    Up 53
    Down 49

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    61
  27. 28
    Up 131
    Down 122
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    58
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  28. 18
    Up 173
    Down 145
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    66
    added by: TVs Frank
  29. 91
    Up 14
    Down 7
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    36
    added by: Veggamattic
  30. 60
    Up 15
    Down 40
    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal More
    41
    added by: autosurvive
  31. 122
    Up 7
    Down 13
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    32
  32. 31
    Up 92
    Down 88
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    55
    added by: KirkSaw
  33. 10
    Up 263
    Down 158
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  34. 109
    Up 6
    Down 9
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    33
  35. 19
    Up 177
    Down 173

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    U2

    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    64
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  36. 36
    Up 126
    Down 170
    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music More
    52
  37. 118
    Up 7
    Down 9
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    32
    added by: autosurvive
  38. 21
    Up 194
    Down 140
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    63
    added by: Ariel Kana
  39. 106
    Up 6
    Down 11
    Blues-rock, Hard rock More
    34
    added by: autosurvive
  40. 4
    Up 356
    Down 200
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    82
  41. 129
    Up 2
    Down 4
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  42. 100
    Up 10
    Down 12
    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
    34
  43. 17
    Up 168
    Down 129
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    66
  44. 20
    Up 152
    Down 97
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  45. 83
    Up 6
    Down 4
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    36
    added by: looksharp
  46. 59
    Up 5
    Down 10
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    42
    added by: looksharp
  47. 85
    Up 11
    Down 11
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    36
  48. 2
    Up 549
    Down 273

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    93
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  49. 22
    Up 176
    Down 84

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    62
  50. 99
    Up 9
    Down 11
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal More
    34
  51. 135 +

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