Rock The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
155.1k votes 8.8k voters 59.4k views 208 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
1,864 1,672
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

2
1,741 2,236
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
1,582 1,853
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

4
1,646 1,732
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

5
1,697 1,627
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

6
1,247 2,077
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

7
1,507 2,024
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

8
872 1,782
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

9
851 1,618
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

10
871 1,882
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

11
595 296
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

12
884 1,703
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
775 1,577
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

14
737 1,432
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
843 1,457
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

16
669 1,246
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

17
696 1,113
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
834 1,318
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock

19
518 1,024
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
668 1,106
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

21
545 1,017
Prince is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

22
589 983
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

23
652 1,083
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
696 984
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

25
538 999
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

26
534 916
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

27
738 1,128
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

28
603 816
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

29
394 779
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

30
668 1,199
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

31
567 806
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
427 697
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

33
871 1,447
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
548 699
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

35
391 830
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

36
517 829
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

37
280 39
Raymond J Harrington is listed (or ranked) 37 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.
 

38
301 500
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

39
478 833
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

40
599 862
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

41
437 646
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

42
545 999
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

43
331 581
Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music

44
335 693
Sting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave

45
362 684
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
430 621
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

47
455 707
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Reggae

48
239 341
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

49
349 496
Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Blue-eyed soul, Heartland rock, Rock music

50
238 331
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time
Clay Glenny added Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock