Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
159.9k votes 8.9k voters 59.5k views 203 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
1,868 1,701
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,742 2,267
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,585 1,884
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,650 1,762
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,703 1,651
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,249 2,106
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,509 2,054
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
873 1,811
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

9
853 1,647
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

10
871 1,911
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
617 302
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

12
888 1,732
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
776 1,603
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
737 1,458
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
845 1,483
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
670 1,272
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
697 1,139
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
835 1,344
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
519 1,050
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

20
546 1,042
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
670 1,131
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

22
590 1,007
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

23
653 1,108
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

24
698 1,008
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

25
540 1,023
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
534 940
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
739 1,152
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
603 840
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
395 802
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

30
668 1,222
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

31
567 829
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
871 1,470
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

33
428 720
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

34
391 853
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

35
517 852
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

36
301 39
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Zevon4god added Raymond J Harrington Rock, Folk -

Delaware rocker known for songs like "We're all Gonna Die". From the band 7 Stax.
 

37
548 722
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

38
478 856
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

39
301 523
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

40
599 885
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

41
545 1,022
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

42
437 669
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

43
336 716
Sting is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

44
331 604
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

45
362 707
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
430 644
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
455 730
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

48
349 519
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

49
239 364
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

50
350 642
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae