Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
109.4k votes 7.6k voters 54.9k views 344 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.

1
1,532 1,457
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,619 1,842
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,552 1,328
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

4
1,410 1,531
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
1,446 1,449
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
1,130 1,733
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
1,278 1,722
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Freddie Mercury Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
797 1,437
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

9
722 1,231
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

10
766 1,284
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

11
805 1,548
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

12
652 1,115
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

13
593 941
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

14
534 718
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

15
785 1,403
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

16
725 1,180
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

17
603 722
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

18
481 655
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

19
369 452
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

20
389 404
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

21
491 736
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

22
604 836
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

23
485 732
Prince is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

24
582 825
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

25
472 475
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

26
508 598
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

27
354 525
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

28
297 332
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

29
735 1,064
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

30
470 752
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

31
677 898
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

32
480 597
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

33
634 966
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

34
478 607
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

35
571 871
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

36
530 621
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

37
279 280
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

38
407 466
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

39
255 196
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

40
322 360
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mick Jagger Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

41
267 256
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

42
378 394
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

43
265 170
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Warren Zevon Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

44
871 1,212
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

45
349 576
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

46
283 229
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

47
430 615
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

48
250 301
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

49
516 769
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

50
357 318
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music