music The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

Originally by
79k votes 108k views 290 items Embed

List Rules 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!

1
+ - 1,571 1,444
Ranker Video v
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music Experimental rock

The Sexiest Women in Rock The Best Alcohol-Free Beer

2
+ - 1,348 1,353
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

3
+ - 1,263 939
Ranker Video v
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music Folk rock

4
+ - 693 948
Ranker Video v
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock Merseybeat

5
+ - 782 1,211
Ranker Video v
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock Grunge

6
+ - 756 1,194
Ranker Video v

7
+ - 680 1,221
Ranker Video v
Elton John and Bernie Taupin

8
+ - 732 1,232
Ranker Video v
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock Heartland rock

9
+ - 580 830
Ranker Video v
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music Pop rock

10
+ - 574 1,033
Ranker Video v
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul Pop music

11
+ - 475 864
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music Rock music

12
+ - 561 812
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music Outsider music

13
+ - 277 193
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock Rock music

14
+ - 449 686
Ranker Video v
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock Swamp pop

15
+ - 526 885
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul Pop music

Rock Stars Who Have Aged Surprisingly Well 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

16
+ - 511 884
Ranker Video v
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul Pop music

17
+ - 438 508
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock Experimental rock

18
+ - 238 336
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music Reggae

19
+ - 308 499
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

20
+ - 255 251
The Who is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
The Who Popular music, Pop music Rock music

21
+ - 685 792
Ranker Video v
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock Rock music

22
+ - 367 707
Ranker Video v
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock New Wave

23
+ - 367 664
Ranker Video v
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music Folk jazz

24
+ - 442 570
Ranker Video v
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock Art rock

25
+ - 377 605
Ranker Video v
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock Punk rock

26
+ - 323 524
Jeff Lynne is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Jeff Lynne Disco, Pop music Rock music - Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.

27
+ - 423 567
Ranker Video v
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music Rock music

28
+ - 309 408
Ranker Video v
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music Experimental rock

29
+ - 290 497
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco Pop music

The Best Rock Vocalists 15 Ways to Use Science to Improve Your Relationship

30
+ - 366 389
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Tom Petty Blues-rock, New Wave Classic rock

31
+ - 320 533
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music Rock music

32
+ - 54 27
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music Experimental rock

33
+ - 164 210
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

34
+ - 147 182
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock Rock music

35
+ - 358 493
Ranker Video v
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music Pub rock

36
+ - 240 360
Ranker Video v
David Byrne New Wave, Worldbeat Experimental music

37
+ - 223 383
Ranker Video v
Smokey Robinson Adult contemporary music, Pop music Rhythm and blues

38
+ - 183 317
Barry Gibb is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Barry Gibb Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul Disco - The last surviving Bee Gee.

39
+ - 200 264
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock College rock

40
+ - 130 189
Burt Bacharach is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Burt Bacharach Pop music, Vocal music

41
+ - 254 348
Ranker Video v
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock Rock music - Young/Young/Johnson

42
+ - 137 178
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music Folk rock

43
+ - 248 325
Ranker Video v
Dolly Parton Ballad, Country pop Pop music

The Best Frontmen in Rock The Best eBooks Sites

44
+ - 122 183
Neil Diamond is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Neil Diamond Pop music, Rock music Folk music

45
+ - 106 186
John Mellencamp is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
John Mellencamp Americana, Heartland rock Rock music

46
+ - 274 440
Ranker Video v
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music New Prog

47
+ - 255 371
Rush is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

48
+ - 109 141
Jackson Browne is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Jackson Browne Rock music, Folk music Folk rock

49
+ - 113 131
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music Country rock

50
+ - 113 118
Bob Segar is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters
Bob Segar