Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
124.8k votes 8.2k voters 57.1k views 314 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
1,676 1,974
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
1,629 1,548
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

3
1,473 1,639
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,609 1,427
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

5
1,527 1,537
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

6
1,171 1,845
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
832 1,555
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
835 1,664
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

9
753 1,347
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

10
1,365 1,810
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

11
807 1,395
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

12
689 1,221
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

13
826 1,507
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
780 1,272
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

15
624 1,053
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

16
652 926
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
515 828
Prince is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

18
495 844
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

19
616 917
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

20
559 822
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

21
778 1,140
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

22
650 812
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

23
378 616
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

24
513 833
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

25
615 944
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

26
506 751
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
711 970
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
552 670
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
399 537
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

30
649 1,042
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

31
523 670
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
420 478
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

33
514 546
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

34
398 201
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

35
496 666
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

36
368 649
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

37
314 410
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

38
559 691
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

39
313 523
Sting is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

40
454 670
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

41
432 535
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

42
343 524
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

43
314 340
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

44
531 828
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
399 455
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

46
871 1,282
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Peter Lennodo Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

47
266 352
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

48
286 321
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

49
338 424
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock

50
333 465
Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae