Best Lyricists in Rock


The Top Ten

1 John Lennon John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He was assassinated by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 at age 40.

Amazing songs the lyrics go in perfect harmony with the instruments. - Beautifulsound

2 Roger Waters Roger Waters George Roger Waters, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He was mostly known for the secondary lead vocals and bassist of Pink Floyd .

While Gilmour was the soul, Roger was the brain behind one the most magical bands ever.. Pink Floyd.
Makes you wonder that is it possible to convey so much with just a few words...

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. ---Brain Damage

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
- Wish You were here

Bleating and babbling I fell on his neck with a scream.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream. ----- Sheep

In my opinion he's number one. He's a genius I want my lyrics to be like his

His lyrics like to deal with the hard topics, evident in some of his best work. Like, for example. Dark Side of The Moon. there, it deals with mortality, insanity, greed, and the fact that we can either waste our lives and leave a bad mark, or make a positive effect, no matter how small it may be.

Best lyricist the world has ever hasn’t the pleasure of seeing. His lyrics can be applied to past, present, and future life. They have the power to change people. Should be number 1 in my opinion.

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3 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer . he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 .

The most inspirational and metaphorical lyricist that has ever graced this earth.

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The hand made blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There's no sense in trying.

Come on.

Then morrison, cobain, Maynard, waters.

Bob Dylan at number 4? This is preposterous. Bob Dylan is the best lyricist of all time hands down and without question. He was more than the voice of the generation, he was one of the best poets of all time. If you could ask any of the 3 writers listed above him, they would all say Bob Dylan is the GOAT.

ummm, are you completey insane? bob dylan is by far the best lyricist ever and really? zack de la Rocha? a five year old can come up with better lyrics. - this_is_the_worst_website_ever

Hands down The greatest of all time

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4 Pete Townshend Pete Townshend Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who .

Pete Townshend's song: "Come To Mama" " It's hard to write about Townshend's songwriting and not simply copy and paste his poetic lyrics "His pride is like a bandage/He is wrapped in a warm cocoon/His pride is like heroin/He is back inside the womb His pride is like an ocean/Encircled by a reef/His pride's a hypnotic potion/His memory is a leaf Her pride is like an armor/Flaming ring of fire/Her pride is like a blindness/An ever tightening wire Her pride is like a razor/A surgeon's purging knife/Her pride is like a censor/She's slashed out half her life"

Album: White City - Garjen

I love Pete Townshend's lyrics and how they weave through his music. I am happy to see him high on this list. Some other list had him way down or not at all! Probably should be one or two behind Dylan, although I think his music is more listenable than Dylan's. Paul Simon and Elvis Costello after them.

Best lyricist...probably only behind Bob Dylan. Listen to his compositions like Behind Blue Eyes,We Won't Get Fooled Again,My Generation,etc;. Also he was the main guy with the idea of "rock operas" like Tommy and Quadrophenia

5 Maynard James Keenan Maynard James Keenan Maynard James Keenan, often referred to by his initials MJK, is an American musician, record producer, winemaker, and actor, best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool.

maynard james keenan is a lyrical genius. instead of trying to put emphasis on biasness, we should dig deep into maynard's lyrics. just by telling james hetfield should top this list, he does not become one to do so. rockstars mostly reflect their personal struggles through their lyrics unlike maynard who does that along with penning down lyrics relevant to various other aspects of life. he urges for introspection and dreams of a changed world. listen to his voice alogwith his words. THE FEMALE VERSION OF MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN IS THE GENIUS NAMED OTEP SHAMAYA

Lyrical genius. Never would have expected to have seen him at #1, and I think I'm more pleased with this list for that reason than any other list on the top tens. No wonder it takes 5 years to make their albums! It's music you can really connect with, and have fantastic meanings. He is also a magnificent singer as well. This list shows that it's maker at least knows what he/she is talking about. - moose4life19

yes! people actually have some sense on this list thank god!
maynard james keenan is the most amazing lyricist in the entire world!
Tool spends upto 3 monthes working on 1 song, because the lyrics are so deep, and their songs' meanings are probably the most controversial and the most discussed, beacuse everyone has their own theory on what they mean... ans every song is amazing and Tool is the best! - Okami

Kurt cobain #1, are you kidding me? Maynard James Keenan is the greatest lyricist of all time. Period. No questions. Hands down. This guy runs 3 bands, all are stellar. Kurt cobain couldn't even keep his own life. I think he was murdered, still if he was here today he would've gone down the tubes. Where's Maynard? Still #1!

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6 Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1988, he started the grunge band Nirvana. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his Seattle home in 1994.

Kurt should be at first. Some people find his lyrics non sense. But if listen him and try to under understand his words you will find that he is the best... And in his songs he takes out all his feelings...

"Throw dwn you're umbilical nuece
So I can climb right back"

7 Jim Morrison Jim Morrison James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.

The End, Celebration of the Lizard to name a few.

Break on through to the other side. Enough said.

Squirmin like a toad seriously.

8 James Hetfield James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

He kicks any of the top ten writers' asses. Maynard is an acid tripped dumbass. Jerry is good but not that good. Bob Dylan is way overrated. Trent is just okay. Kurt was a little heroin junkie who couldn't make sense to save his life. (He proved it) Eddie Vedder couldn't even comprehend a rhyme or consecutive lines that aren't their own little sentences. John Lennon was good but way overrated considering it was just the acid talking, but his acid talks better than Maynard's.

"Dylan is way overrated". - again someone here doesn't understand the proper use and concept of "overrated". It doesn't mean someone/something that an individual (you, the visitor quoted here) doesn't care for or have an appreciation for (perhaps a very limited knowledge of as well. Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature. His lyrics are acclaimed by an abundance of those in the music industry and beyond. The existence of a few who disagree with the praise he's given and deserves does not constitute any validity to a claim he's overrated. The majority evaluation is overwhelming - your individual opinion is irrelevant in determining or claiming that he's overrated. - Billyv

James should be #1! His lyrics kick ass!

9 Paul Simon Paul Simon Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel.
10 Jerry Cantrell Jerry Cantrell Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter for the rock band Alice in Chains.

You my friend
I will defend
And if we change, well I
Love you anyway

I love alice in chains lyrics.. they're so emotional! I think I'm gonna cry...

"I live for you but I'm not alive... "

The Contenders

11 Bono Bono Paul David Hewson, known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. His original nickname was Bono Vox which means "big voice". V 1 Comment
12 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .
13 Michael Stipe Michael Stipe John Michael Stipe is an American singer, songwriter, film producer, music video director, and visual artist.
14 Axl Rose Axl Rose William Bruce Rose Jr., better known as 'Axl Rose', is an American singer born on February 6, 1962, in Lafayette, Indiana. He Is the founder and lead singer of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is a celebrated but controversial figure in the world of rock.

Axl is one of the most underrated lyricists in rock. Coma, November Rain, You Could Be Mine and Civil War is some of his best work lyrically

How Axl isn't at least in the top three is beyond me. Definitely the most underrated lyricists of all time. Simply outstanding

Try to listen to Coma and then we'll talk

Easy #1

15 Neil Peart Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart, OC (born September 12, 1952 in Hamilton, Canada) is a Canadian-American musician and author, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances.

BEST. LYRICIST. IN. THE. ENTIRE. WORLD! So moving his lyrics are. They are amazing. Listen to the song The Garden and you will cry.

Listen to songs such as limelight, the pass and prime mover etc and the lyrics will blow your face inside out.

His lyrics really "deviate from the norm"

On point and influential

16 Bernie Taupin

Has to be in the top 5.
Complex and innovative when most hits were written for three chords

17 Zack de la Rocha Zack de la Rocha Zacharias Manuel "Zack" de la Rocha (born January 12, 1970) is an American musician, poet, rapper, and activist best known as the vocalist and lyricist of rap metal band Rage Against the Machine from 1991–2000, and after the band's reunion in 2007 until their last show in 2011. He left Rage Against more.

Zack's lyrics contains such a meaningful lesson of our world and I'm so glad that he got number 3(however he should've gotten higher).

18 Layne Staley Layne Staley Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. more.

One of the most honest song writers of my generation. He bared his soul and then delivered it to us with the most beautiful melodies. The songs he wrote with Jerry Cantrell and his work on Mad Season is the best.

Layne's writings and his collaborations with Jerry Cantrell were the stuff of legend. These guys were amazing song writers, so honest. Still enjoy listening to them today.

19 Eddie Vedder Eddie Vedder Eddie Vedder is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as a member of the rock band Pearl Jam, with whom he performs lead vocals and is one of three guitarists.

Defiantly should be higher. He is a mastermind. He has the ability not only to write about his own experiences but also those of others. Jeremy, better man, the end, yellow Ledbetter, why go, all songs about others experiences

Eddie is just the best. Songs like Corduroy, I got ID, Black, Light years are masterpieces

The only reason many of theese artist are higher is because they're dead. I love Kurt cobain so much but to say he is a better lyricist than Eddie who has been doing it for such a longer time and has produced in quality for so long

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20 Brandon Boyd

You stare at me like I�m a vitamin
On the surface you hate,
But you know you need me.
I'll come dressed as any pill you deem fit.
Whatever helps you swallow the truth,
All the more easily.

Imagine your brain as a canister filled with ink.
Now think of your body as the pen where the ink resides
Fuse the two; kapow! What are you now?
You�re the human magic marker,
Won�t you please surprise my eyes?

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