Songs These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
333.8k votes 29k voters 415.1k views 907 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
6,878 4,752
John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

2
6,031 5,107
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde

3
4,206 2,849
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
5,459 4,388
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
SMiLE, What I Really Want for Christmas, Orange Crate Art

5
2,695 3,362
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
2,915 3,900
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush

7
3,473 3,684
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
All Things Must Pass, Cloud Nine, Living in the Material World

8
6,194 5,761
Prince is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

9
1,376 480
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
jmmikkola added Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends

10
2,704 3,701
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

11
3,126 4,237
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Blue, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon

12
2,627 3,230
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

13
2,983 2,498
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Imagine, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Double Fantasy

14
2,350 3,326
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs of Love and Hate, Old Ideas

15
2,276 1,943
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
JasonWitherspoon added Flaming Pie, Ram, McCartney

16
2,407 2,827
Elton John and Bernie Taupin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

17
1,274 1,016
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
coldspacemusic added The Solo Collection, Barcelona, Mr. Bad Guy

18
2,016 2,155
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Tapestry, Wrap Around Joy, Music

19
1,550 1,813
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
1,879 2,185
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
1,702 1,985
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Astral Weeks, Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview

22
1,741 2,001
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Empty Glass, Psychoderelict (Music Only), White City

23
1,941 2,056
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
wiabux added The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

24
2,179 2,538
Ray Davies is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Working Man's Café, The Storyteller, Thanksgiving Day

25
1,782 2,432
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
Rain Dogs, Mule Variations, Blood Money