Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
155.1k votes 8.8k voters 59.4k views 208 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
1,864 1,674
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,741 2,238
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,582 1,855
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,646 1,734
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,697 1,629
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,247 2,079
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,507 2,026
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
872 1,784
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

9
851 1,620
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

10
871 1,884
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
598 296
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

12
884 1,705
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
775 1,579
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
737 1,434
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
843 1,459
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
669 1,248
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
696 1,115
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
834 1,320
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
518 1,026
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
668 1,108
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

21
545 1,019
Prince is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

22
589 985
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

23
652 1,085
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
696 986
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

25
538 1,001
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
534 918
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
738 1,130
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
603 818
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
394 781
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 1,201
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

31
567 808
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
427 699
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

33
871 1,449
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

34
548 701
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

35
391 832
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

36
517 831
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
283 39
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 37 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.
 

38
301 502
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

39
478 835
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

40
599 864
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

41
437 647
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

42
545 1,000
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

43
331 582
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

44
335 694
Sting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

45
362 685
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
430 622
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
455 708
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

48
239 342
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

49
349 497
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

50
239 332
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Clay Glenny added Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock