Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
191.4k votes 9.8k voters 62.6k views 196 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.
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
2,019 1,982
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,858 2,554
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,687 2,169
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,755 2,043
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,865 1,835
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,335 2,374
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
948 2,092
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
1,680 2,328
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

9
943 1,913
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

10
943 2,177
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
787 470
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

12
989 1,983
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
852 1,857
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
818 1,697
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
915 1,723
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
729 1,504
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
746 1,371
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
892 1,576
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
562 1,267
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
593 1,269
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
725 1,325
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

22
702 1,292
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

23
573 1,214
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

24
586 1,120
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

25
628 1,193
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop