Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
186.5k votes 9.4k voters 60.7k views 191 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
1,922 1,904
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,789 2,466
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,621 2,084
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,687 1,958
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,773 1,795
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,281 2,296
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
900 2,007
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
762 383
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

9
884 1,833
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

10
897 2,100
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
1,574 2,245
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

12
805 1,783
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

13
925 1,915
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
768 1,633
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
870 1,659
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
694 1,448
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
719 1,311
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
858 1,515
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
537 1,218
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
564 1,210
Prince is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

21
688 1,288
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

22
554 1,176
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

23
669 1,261
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
604 1,160
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

25
550 1,094
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

26
709 1,161
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

27
682 1,370
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

28
759 1,296
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

29
409 948
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

30
436 72
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 30 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.
 

31
624 972
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

32
584 965
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

33
872 1,609
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

34
408 987
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

35
440 849
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

36
248 495
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

37
483 988
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

38
556 1,149
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

39
348 837
Sting is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

40
527 980
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

41
375 829
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

42
310 647
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

43
343 727
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

44
617 1,008
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

45
445 791
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

46
559 845
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

47
443 763
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

48
466 850
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

49
362 762
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

50
315 584
Jackson Browne is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock