The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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11  reranks 23,964 votes 1,935 voters 74,452 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. 43
    Up 41
    Down 47
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    51
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  2. 127
    Up 10
    Down 19

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    31
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  3. 44
    Up 136
    Down 177
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    51
    added by: Ariel Kana
  4. 113
    Up 16
    Down 19
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    34
    added by: Cory85
  5. 63
    Up 11
    Down 14
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal More
    44
  6. 38
    Up 36
    Down 32
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    53
  7. 61
    Up 26
    Down 64

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lucinda Williams

    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    45
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  8. 96
    Up 11
    Down 52

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Patty Griffin

    Americana, Folk music, Folk rock More
    36
    added by: LaurieM
  9. 85
    Up 17
    Down 15
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    37
  10. 8
    Up 192
    Down 178
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    74
    added by: jdbranded
  11. 59
    Up 41
    Down 79
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    45
    added by: KirkSaw
  12. 117
    Up 31
    Down 44
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    33
    added by: ConnieStarnes
  13. 21
    Up 118
    Down 102
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  14. 11
    Up 338
    Down 288
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    71
    added by: Randolph
  15. 49
    Up 54
    Down 87

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ozzy Osbourne

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    48
  16. 120
    Up 4
    Down 5
    Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music More
    33
    added by: Honda
  17. 111
    Up 56
    Down 78
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music More
    34
    added by: JesusAlonso
    The Cure
  18. 3
    Up 382
    Down 206
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    85
  19. 70
    Up 18
    Down 41
    Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music More
    40
    added by: danmedsker
  20. 42
    Up 56
    Down 113

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    51
  21. 107
    Up 17
    Down 17
    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    34
    added by: ChanczProwess
  22. 27
    Up 144
    Down 124
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    58
    added by: couchlock420
  23. 68
    Up 15
    Down 37
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    40
    added by: bdfsu157
  24. 16
    Up 70
    Down 66

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    65
  25. 33
    Up 136
    Down 139
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    56
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  26. 17
    Up 194
    Down 162
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    64
    added by: TVs Frank
  27. 94
    Up 15
    Down 9
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    36
    added by: Veggamattic
  28. 71
    Up 15
    Down 43
    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal More
    40
    added by: autosurvive
  29. 67
    Up 8
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    41
    added by: cheeseburger
  30. 35
    Up 100
    Down 96
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    54
    added by: KirkSaw
  31. 10
    Up 278
    Down 217
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    72
    added by: Ron Mexico
  32. 112
    Up 7
    Down 11
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    34
  33. 26
    Up 184
    Down 196
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    60
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  34. 39
    Up 138
    Down 173
    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music More
    52
  35. 118
    Up 8
    Down 10
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    33
    added by: autosurvive
  36. 24
    Up 206
    Down 157
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    61
    added by: Ariel Kana
  37. 4
    Up 376
    Down 276
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    80
  38. 124
    Up 3
    Down 6
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  39. 99
    Up 12
    Down 13
    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
    35
  40. 13
    Up 230
    Down 139
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    69
  41. 20
    Up 163
    Down 141
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  42. 82
    Up 12
    Down 7
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    38
    added by: looksharp
  43. 69
    Up 5
    Down 14
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    40
    added by: looksharp
  44. 97
    Up 11
    Down 14
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    36
  45. 2
    Up 593
    Down 334

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    94
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  46. 22
    Up 232
    Down 116

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music More
    63
  47. 109
    Up 9
    Down 13
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal More
    34
  48. 115
    Up 8
    Down 14
    Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock More
    33
  49. 79
    Up 44
    Down 99

    often listed
    Ryan Adams

    Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock More
    38
    added by: LaurieM
  50. 75
    Up 23
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Burt Bacharach

    Pop music, Vocal music More
    39
  51. 130 +

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