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
1,291 1,338
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

2
1,417 1,199
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

3
1,307 1,327
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

4
1,357 1,727
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
1,275 1,329
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
978 1,609
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
1,064 1,581
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Freddie Mercury Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
706 1,436
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
538 978
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

10
484 844
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

11
856 1,127
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

12
378 372
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

13
511 764
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
663 1,334
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

Rock Stars Who Have Aged Surprisingly Well

15
640 1,185
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

16
669 1,309
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
485 645
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

18
576 1,147
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

19
610 1,097
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
643 1,008
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

21
449 540
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

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22
400 654
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

23
438 639
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

24
398 598
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

25
423 535
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

26
512 819
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
394 705
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
487 752
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

29
590 855
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

30
326 343
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
305 352
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

32
231 294
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

33
289 472
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

34
418 550
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

35
410 556
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

Songs That Were Total Ripoffs

36
280 385
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
403 678
Prince is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

38
344 425
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

39
224 241
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

40
215 197
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

41
229 188
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

42
206 157
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

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

43
308 285
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

44
302 511
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

45
566 932
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

46
463 732
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

47
382 584
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

48
96 85
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Clay Glenny added Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

49
282 380
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
255 413
Sting is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave