rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
97.9k votes 6.8k voters 49.7k views 330 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
1,346 1,343
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,311 1,373
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
1,434 1,220
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
1,406 1,741
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
1,303 1,343
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
1,012 1,636
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
1,108 1,604
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
400 388
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

9
732 1,455
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

10
562 1,001
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
509 860
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
693 1,349
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
696 1,319
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
663 1,197
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide

15
633 1,107
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
419 663
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

17
532 775
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
869 1,142
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

19
450 647
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
506 654
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
435 548
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

22
224 205
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

23
291 393
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

24
500 764
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
468 550
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Kurt Cobain Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

26
661 1,014
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Jim Morrison Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

27
299 481
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
596 1,154
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

The Best Female Rock Singers

29
428 561
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
413 604
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

31
320 357
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
606 859
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

33
408 713
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

34
335 349
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
522 826
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 Best Political Drama Movies On Netflix

36
358 429
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bob Marley Reggae

37
211 167
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
versusmen added Roy Orbison Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

38
419 563
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Van Morrison Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

39
236 300
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Bernie Taupin Pop music, Rock music

40
415 684
Prince is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

41
313 517
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
228 247
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

Every Song in Jesus Christ Superstar, Ranked by Singability

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
233 195
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
287 326
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
289 383
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
472 735
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

49
151 112
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

50
262 419
Sting is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave