rock 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
1,312 1,050
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
1,115 1,258
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
1,115 1,258
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

4
1,172 1,640
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
1,110 1,258
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
872 1,488
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
797 999
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
642 1,325
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
907 1,478
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
451 878
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

11
279 293
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

12
555 1,108
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

13
262 438
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

14
383 592
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

15
345 608
Prince is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

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16
583 1,256
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

17
509 1,065
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

18
589 1,247
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

19
542 1,050
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

20
402 582
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

21
425 777
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

22
536 830
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

23
359 492
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

24
437 720
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
195 255
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

26
351 618
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

27
197 169
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

28
299 316
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

29
568 963
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

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30
351 671
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

31
349 574
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

32
247 367
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

33
443 706
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

34
276 266
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

35
258 329
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

36
366 539
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
303 405
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

38
248 271
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lindsey Buckingham New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

39
175 177
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
185 220
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

41
370 481
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

42
167 137
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

43
360 536
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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44
466 805
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

45
74 63
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Clay Glenny added Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

46
358 567
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
536 916
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

48
431 712
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

49
178 249
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

50
250 367
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Keith Richards Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae