bands/musicians These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time  

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List Rules Vote on whether or not you think the songwriters should be considered the best of all time

If you ask anyone who has ever tried, it's tough to write one song, nevertheless a batch to be considered a songwriter. Add to the mix that the song actually getting recorded and becoming a hit, it's pretty hard to be a great songwriter. Yet that's what make the greatest songwriters different from Average Joe who has tried to pen a song. The best songwriters usually have written multiple hits that not only their most ardent fans know, but also casual listeners.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are considered two the best songwriters. The Beatles were fueled by this legendary duo's prowess and are debatably the greatest band because these two outstanding songwriters.

Similarly to Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan is another songwriter who can be considered one of the greatest of all time. Dylan's songwriting introduced powerful imagery and themes that were deeply layered within the context of his writing. His songwriting influenced an entire generation of bands, songwriters and fans, including another member of this list, Bruce Springsteen.

This is the Ultimate List of the greatest songwriters of all time. Everyone on this list is considered one of the best at his or her craft. Vote for the songwriter who you think is the greatest, which shouldn't be too easy with a list like this one.
list ordered by

1
6,089 4,148
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

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2
5,388 4,541
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde

3
3,669 2,546
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Paul Simon Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What

4
5,183 3,854
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Brian Wilson SMiLE, What I Really Want for Christmas, Orange Crate Art

5
2,687 3,397
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Neil Young Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush

6
5,903 5,222
Prince is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Prince Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

7
2,375 2,860
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs

8
3,121 3,188
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
George Harrison All Things Must Pass, Cloud Nine, Living in the Material World

9
862 314
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
jmmikkola added Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends

10
2,949 3,737
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Joni Mitchell Blue, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon

11
2,398 2,777
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

12
2,561 2,100
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
John Lennon Imagine, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Double Fantasy

13
2,476 3,225
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

14
685 383
Peter Lennodo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Peter Lennodo Tomorrow is Yesterday

15
2,142 2,897
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Leonard Cohen Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs of Love and Hate, Old Ideas

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16
1,843 1,568
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
JasonWitherspoon added Paul McCartney Flaming Pie, Ram, McCartney

17
2,157 2,442
Elton John and Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

18
1,670 1,868
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
mjhegger added Johnny Cash American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison

19
1,611 1,810
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Pete Townshend Empty Glass, Psychoderelict (Music Only), White City

20
1,693 2,210
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Tom Waits Rain Dogs, Mule Variations, Blood Money

21
2,104 2,336
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Ray Davies Working Man's Café, The Storyteller, Thanksgiving Day

22
1,848 1,895
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Carole King Tapestry, Wrap Around Joy, Music

23
1,758 1,793
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
wiabux added Billy Joel The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

24
1,559 1,782
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Van Morrison Astral Weeks, Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview

25
1,382 1,562
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
wiabux added Bob Marley Sun Is Shining, One Love, Rainbow Country

26
848 713
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
coldspacemusic added Freddie Mercury The Solo Collection, Barcelona, Mr. Bad Guy

27
1,452 1,686
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

28
1,494 1,331
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
George Gershwin Masters of the Roll (disc 1), An American in Paris, Porgy & Bess

29
1,712 1,408
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Eternal Classics

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30
1,281 1,417
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
John Fogerty Deja Vu All Over Again, Hoodoo, Centerfield

31
1,101 978
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Buddy Holly Buddy, 20 Golden Greats, What You Been A-Missin': What You've Been A-Missin'

32
1,163 1,261
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Chuck Berry The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars

33
1,055 1,262
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
StacyWolfe added James Taylor Sweet Baby James, A Christmas Album, James Taylor at Christmas

34
1,071 1,264
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
MohammadrezaMomeni added Roger Waters The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Amused to Death, When the Wind Blows

35
1,014 1,053
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
StacyWolfe added Tom Petty Full Moon Fever, Wildflowers, Highway Companion

36
740 851
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
KellySouthworth added Jim Morrison Paris Jim, Dionysus

37
1,415 1,358
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (feat. piano: Cyprien Katsaris)

38
1,130 1,541
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Elvis Costello This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!!

39
1,148 1,715
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Lou Reed Transformer, Berlin, New York

40
276 140
Mick Jagger/keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

41
1,515 2,075
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Warren Zevon Excitable Boy, The Wind, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: An Anthology

42
1,137 1,218
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Hank Williams Cold, Cold Heart, Beyond the Sunset

43
1,072 1,249
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel, Us, Security

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44
787 1,034
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
wiabux added Willie Nelson Heroes, Pretty Paper, Countryman

45
913 993
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
MaeganBell added Stevie Nicks Bella Donna, Buckingham Nicks, Trouble in Shangri-La

46
1,657 1,679
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
tomeksj added Kate Bush Hounds of Love, The Dreaming, The Kick Inside

47
1,848 2,253
Tori Amos is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
tomeksj added Tori Amos Little Earthquakes, From the Choirgirl Hotel, Strange Little Girls

48
517 492
Smokey Robinson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Smokey Robinson Warm Thoughts, Where There's Smoke, Anthology (disc 3)

49
519 456
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Marvin Gaye What's Going On, Here, My Dear

50
1,105 1,341
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy