Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
160.3k votes 8.9k voters 59.5k views 202 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
1,867 1,702
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,742 2,268
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,584 1,885
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,649 1,763
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,702 1,653
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,249 2,107
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,508 2,055
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
873 1,812
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

9
853 1,648
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

10
871 1,912
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
619 301
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

12
887 1,733
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
776 1,605
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
737 1,460
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
845 1,485
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
670 1,274
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
697 1,141
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
835 1,346
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
519 1,052
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
546 1,044
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
670 1,133
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

22
590 1,009
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

23
652 1,110
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
697 1,010
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

25
540 1,025
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
534 942
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
739 1,154
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
603 842
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
668 1,224
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

30
394 804
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

31
567 831
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
871 1,472
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

33
427 722
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

34
391 855
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

35
303 39
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 35 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.
 

36
517 854
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
548 724
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

38
478 858
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

39
301 525
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

40
599 887
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

41
545 1,024
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

42
437 671
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

43
331 606
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

44
336 717
Sting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

45
362 708
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
430 645
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
455 731
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

48
349 520
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

49
239 365
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

50
350 643
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae