Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
102.3k votes 7.2k voters 52.7k views 336 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.

1
1,442 1,381
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,360 1,433
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
1,510 1,777
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

4
1,475 1,269
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

5
1,374 1,376
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
1,063 1,668
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
1,201 1,642
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
616 1,037
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

9
551 884
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

10
762 1,485
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
445 420
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

12
734 1,371
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

13
711 1,220
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

14
737 1,347
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

15
674 1,127
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
553 670
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

17
454 684
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

18
490 662
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

19
566 792
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

20
541 780
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

21
640 1,172
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

The Very Best Newman's Own Salad Dressing Flavors

22
470 564
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

23
322 412
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

24
698 1,028
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

25
324 497
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
351 368
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

27
440 722
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
264 306
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

The Best Rock Vocalists

29
499 578
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

30
434 618
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

31
245 225
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

32
637 872
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

33
233 173
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

34
549 835
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

35
448 580
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
385 440
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

37
360 362
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

38
871 1,166
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

39
439 695
Prince is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

40
442 570
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

41
248 252
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

42
333 532
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

The Best Frontmen in Rock

43
259 200
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

44
595 940
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

45
307 331
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mick Jagger Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

46
306 387
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Keith Richards Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

47
278 429
Sting is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

48
330 297
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

49
165 119
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

50
485 741
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word