Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
121.2k votes 8.1k voters 57k views 328 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
1,674 1,954
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
1,617 1,535
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

3
1,464 1,626
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,606 1,411
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

5
1,517 1,525
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

6
1,165 1,830
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
830 1,534
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
1,354 1,799
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

9
834 1,646
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

10
751 1,327
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

11
805 1,377
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

12
686 1,203
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

13
822 1,490
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
776 1,255
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

15
621 1,034
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

16
650 908
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
514 810
Prince is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

18
614 899
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

19
555 805
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

20
493 829
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

21
644 797
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

22
776 1,124
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

23
506 734
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

24
377 599
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

25
512 817
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
609 931
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

27
547 657
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

28
382 197
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

29
710 953
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

30
398 521
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

31
515 657
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
510 532
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

33
417 466
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

34
647 1,028
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

35
493 654
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

36
312 397
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

37
556 679
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

38
431 523
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

39
367 637
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

40
309 333
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

41
398 444
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

42
312 510
Sting is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

43
452 660
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

44
531 816
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

45
871 1,270
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

46
285 310
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

47
341 514
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

48
262 344
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

49
306 265
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Country rock

50
381 355
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music