Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
144.4k 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
1,817 1,600
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,719 2,139
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,552 1,766
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 1,649
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 1,554
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,223 1,989
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,457 1,935
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
522 262
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

9
861 1,696
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

10
834 1,536
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

11
860 1,800
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

12
868 1,625
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 1,495
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
820 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
683 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
652 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
536 948
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
682 924
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

22
508 961
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

23
577 925
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

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
524 859
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

26
587 764
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 1,073
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

29
556 754
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
387 723
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 1,145
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

32
419 643
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
539 644
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 1,389
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
299 442
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

36
510 772
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
431 588
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

38
585 804
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

39
472 775
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

40
379 769
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

41
324 522
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

42
421 561
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

43
539 938
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
448 645
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

45
236 283
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

46
359 624
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

47
325 632
Sting is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

48
211 32
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 48 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.
 

49
340 438
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
218 271
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