Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
127.4k votes 8.2k voters 57.3k views 295 items

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
1,681 1,994
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
1,649 1,555
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

3
1,488 1,649
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,542 1,545
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,615 1,443
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,183 1,855
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
834 1,575
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
836 1,684
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

9
754 1,369
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

10
808 1,415
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

11
1,386 1,815
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

12
694 1,240
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

13
830 1,524
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
783 1,290
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

15
625 1,070
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

16
654 944
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
497 863
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

18
515 846
Prince is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

19
618 935
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

20
785 1,155
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

21
559 840
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

22
513 850
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

23
378 635
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

24
619 960
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

25
508 769
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

26
653 830
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

27
712 988
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
649 1,060
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

29
555 685
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

30
410 203
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

31
400 555
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

32
526 685
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

33
368 665
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

34
498 680
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

35
420 495
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

36
315 425
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

37
314 538
Sting is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

38
275 360
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

39
456 684
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

40
514 563
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

41
345 537
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

42
561 705
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

43
532 844
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

44
871 1,295
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

45
433 550
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

46
400 470
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
319 350
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

48
213 199
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

49
333 480
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

50
288 335
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music