rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
1,342 1,342
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,308 1,371
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

3
1,430 1,219
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
1,401 1,740
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

5
1,300 1,341
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
1,006 1,635
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
1,100 1,603
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
730 1,455
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

9
397 387
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

10
556 1,000
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

11
505 859
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

12
689 1,348
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

13
691 1,318
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
659 1,196
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

15
632 1,106
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
869 1,141
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

17
416 661
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

18
530 773
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

19
449 646
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

20
503 654
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Tom Petty Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

21
291 392
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

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22
431 548
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

23
298 480
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

24
593 1,154
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

25
659 1,014
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

26
221 205
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

27
466 549
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

28
495 764
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

The Best Rock Vocalists

29
413 603
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

30
427 560
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

31
318 357
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

32
406 712
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

33
604 859
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

34
334 349
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

35
521 826
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

The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

36
210 166
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

37
356 428
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

38
236 300
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

39
418 562
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

40
413 683
Prince is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

41
310 516
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

42
227 247
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Seger Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

The Best Frontmen in Rock

43
574 934
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Ray Davies Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

44
232 195
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

45
285 326
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mick Jagger Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

46
288 383
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Keith Richards Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

47
312 290
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Mark Knopfler Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

48
151 111
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

49
472 735
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
261 418
Sting is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave