Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
143.5k votes 8.6k voters 58.4k 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
1,800 1,593
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,711 2,127
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,544 1,755
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,605 1,642
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,653 1,546
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,215 1,979
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,447 1,926
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
517 252
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

9
854 1,686
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

10
826 1,527
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

11
854 1,791
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

12
860 1,616
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
764 1,483
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
712 1,347
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
812 1,381
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
644 1,165
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
675 1,034
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
813 1,238
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
529 940
Prince is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

20
644 1,035
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

21
506 954
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

22
676 918
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

23
572 919
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

24
634 1,019
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
519 854
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

26
522 935
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

27
725 1,068
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
579 759
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
548 751
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
383 716
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

31
657 1,140
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

32
410 637
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
533 640
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 1,383
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
296 436
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

36
508 767
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
429 583
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

38
578 797
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

39
470 770
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

40
374 762
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

41
319 518
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

42
538 932
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

43
414 557
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

44
232 277
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

45
356 620
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
442 641
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

47
209 28
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
319 625
Sting is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

49
335 433
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
212 266
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