Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
144.5k votes 8.6k voters 58.6k views 219 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
1,819 1,600
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,720 2,142
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,553 1,768
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,618 1,652
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,661 1,558
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,224 1,992
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,458 1,938
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
526 262
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

9
861 1,698
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

10
835 1,538
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

11
861 1,802
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

12
869 1,626
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
767 1,496
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
720 1,357
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
821 1,388
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
653 1,172
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
684 1,043
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
817 1,246
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
653 1,041
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

20
537 948
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
683 925
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

22
579 925
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

23
508 961
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

24
640 1,024
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

25
525 859
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

26
588 764
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

27
528 942
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

28
729 1,074
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

29
556 755
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
387 724
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

31
662 1,146
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

32
419 644
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
539 645
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

34
871 1,392
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

35
299 445
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

36
510 775
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
431 591
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

38
585 807
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

39
472 778
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

40
379 772
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

41
324 525
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

42
421 564
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

43
539 941
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
448 648
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

45
359 627
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
236 286
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

47
215 32
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 47 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.
 

48
325 635
Sting is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

49
340 441
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
219 274
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