bands/musicians The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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The greatest rock songwriters of all time have a lot in common. Firstly, they are some of the biggest names in rock music history. These household names have written some of the most popular songs. Secondly, even if you aren't too familiar with these songwriters, you've definitely heard their songs at least once or twice. You may not be familiar with their names or faces, but you should know their music. For some bizarre reason, you may not have heard of John Lennon or Paul McCartney, but you definitely have heard of The Beatles and their music. The same goes for Freddie Mercury and Queen, who like The Beatles' songwriting duo, wrote some of the most popular songs in music history.

Bob Dylan is widely considered one of the first songwriters to incorporate poetry, imagery and a social consciousness to rock music. His influence ranges far and wide. Many of the songwriters on this list count Dylan as one of the most important songwriters in rock history. He may not have had the same impact as Dylan, but Kurt Cobain has proven to be one of the most important songwriters in recent history. His career may have been short, but his impact on music history cannot be understated.

It's not easy to determine which of these songwriters is the greatest of all time. It's up to you to determine who is the greatest rock songwriter of all time by voting for who you think deserves that title.
list ordered by

1
1,215 960
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

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2
1,015 1,187
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

3
1,015 1,187
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

4
1,055 1,556
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

5
1,015 1,187
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

6
814 1,389
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
726 879
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

8
596 1,229
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

9
830 1,383
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Freddie Mercury Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

10
535 1,171
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

11
527 920
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

12
351 547
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

13
199 291
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

14
389 744
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

15
318 558
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

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16
310 535
Prince is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

17
476 965
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

18
328 449
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

19
394 810
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

20
451 994
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

21
505 1,032
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

22
418 688
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

23
497 803
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

24
399 686
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

25
224 371
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

26
442 788
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

27
330 630
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

28
235 285
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

29
279 384
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

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30
248 264
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

31
142 112
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

32
260 263
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

33
539 1,238
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

34
338 520
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

35
159 193
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

36
224 247
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lindsey Buckingham New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

37
343 461
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

38
351 570
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

39
151 157
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

40
317 557
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

41
414 691
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

42
328 525
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

43
519 899
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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44
249 237
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

45
164 151
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

46
341 555
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

47
170 236
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

48
162 233
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

49
233 350
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Keith Richards Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

50
224 286
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mick Jagger Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock