bands/musicians 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
1,257 999
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
1,054 1,223
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
1,054 1,223
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

4
1,098 1,594
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
1,048 1,221
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
835 1,436
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
762 933
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
616 1,269
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
856 1,432
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
224 330
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

11
244 407
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

12
557 1,210
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
503 1,000
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

14
525 1,058
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

15
324 551
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
331 576
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

17
408 830
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

18
338 639
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

19
338 460
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

20
544 948
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
274 275
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

22
507 814
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
243 293
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

24
348 527
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

25
410 703
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

26
329 562
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
287 394
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

28
170 204
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

29
398 761
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

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30
258 277
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
476 1,016
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

32
361 578
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

33
175 158
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

34
258 240
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
368 565
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

36
420 698
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

37
157 165
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

38
179 240
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

39
525 904
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

40
554 1,246
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

41
428 695
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

42
347 560
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

43
448 796
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

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44
340 528
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

45
353 469
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

46
166 238
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

47
236 258
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lindsey Buckingham New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

48
239 356
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Keith Richards Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

49
231 290
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mick Jagger Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

50
152 128
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music