Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
121k votes 8.1k voters 56.9k views 328 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
1,672 1,949
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
1,609 1,534
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

3
1,461 1,624
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,603 1,408
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

5
1,509 1,524
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

6
1,162 1,828
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
828 1,530
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
1,350 1,797
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

9
830 1,643
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

10
749 1,324
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

11
802 1,374
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

12
684 1,200
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

13
819 1,488
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
773 1,252
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

15
619 1,030
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

16
645 906
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
511 807
Prince is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

18
612 895
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

19
555 801
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

20
492 824
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

21
643 793
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

22
505 730
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

23
377 595
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

24
772 1,122
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

25
512 813
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
606 929
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

27
545 655
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

28
375 195
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

29
397 519
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

30
709 952
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

31
513 655
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
416 464
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

33
507 532
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

34
646 1,026
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

35
493 652
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

36
311 395
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

37
555 678
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

38
431 521
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

39
367 635
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

40
308 332
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

41
397 443
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

42
312 508
Sting is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

43
452 658
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

44
530 814
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

45
871 1,269
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

46
340 514
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

47
284 309
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

48
305 265
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

49
262 343
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

50
380 355
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music