Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
125.6k votes 8.2k voters 57.2k views 311 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
1,677 1,979
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
1,634 1,549
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

3
1,478 1,641
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,611 1,431
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

5
1,532 1,538
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

6
1,174 1,847
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
832 1,560
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
835 1,669
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

9
753 1,352
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

10
1,370 1,811
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

11
807 1,400
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

12
690 1,226
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

13
827 1,511
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
781 1,276
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

15
624 1,058
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

16
653 930
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
515 833
Prince is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

18
495 848
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

19
616 921
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
559 826
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

21
780 1,143
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

22
513 837
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

23
378 620
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

24
651 816
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

25
617 948
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

26
506 756
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
711 975
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
553 674
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
399 542
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
649 1,047
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

31
524 674
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
420 483
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

33
514 551
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

34
496 671
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

35
368 654
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

36
314 415
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

37
393 202
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

38
560 695
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

39
313 527
Sting is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

40
455 673
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

41
432 539
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

42
344 527
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

43
531 832
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
316 342
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

45
871 1,286
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
400 458
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
269 353
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

48
286 325
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

49
338 428
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

50
333 469
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae