Bands/Musicians These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
338.4k votes 29.4k voters 417.9k views 904 items

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.
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list ordered by
1
6,130 5,179
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde
2
6,981 4,829
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
3
2,946 3,961
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush
4
2,738 3,427
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs
5
4,293 2,891
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What
6
2,735 3,756
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising
7
3,154 4,287
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Blue, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon
8
5,496 4,450
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
SMiLE, What I Really Want for Christmas, Orange Crate Art
9
3,523 3,734
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
All Things Must Pass, Cloud Nine, Living in the Material World
10
2,379 3,366
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs of Love and Hate, Old Ideas
11
2,652 3,273
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book
12
6,241 5,819
Prince is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999
13
1,798 2,465
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Rain Dogs, Mule Variations, Blood Money
14
2,447 2,853
Elton John and Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
15
1,238 1,828
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Transformer, Berlin, New York
16
2,189 2,558
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Working Man's Café, The Storyteller, Thanksgiving Day
17
1,908 2,205
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
mjhegger added American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison
18
1,760 2,020
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Empty Glass, Psychoderelict (Music Only), White City
19
1,566 1,843
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
wiabux added Sun Is Shining, One Love, Rainbow Country
20
2,041 2,184
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Tapestry, Wrap Around Joy, Music
21
1,567 2,182
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Excitable Boy, The Wind, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: An Anthology
22
1,715 2,006
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Astral Weeks, Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview
23
3,035 2,540
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Imagine, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Double Fantasy
24
1,612 1,869
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection
25
1,213 1,652
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!!