Top 10 Best Lyricists in Rock
Brilliant is every way. Across the Universe is other worldly and is beyond words. Nowhere Man is an anthem for all of us who struggle at some point. His Christmas song has a poignancy and a proactive message that tops all others and Imagine is beyond brilliant in terms of it's effective way of capturing and identifying what drives people apart...religion and a fierce and childlike nationalistic pride.
John Lennon was the best at everything. He was an amazing lyricist and had more heart, soul, unflinching honesty and creativity than any other writer!
Inspired, other worldly, cutting edge poetry from this amazing man, never anything less.. He was the best! 1
Amazing songs the lyrics go in perfect harmony with the instruments.
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
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.
In my opinion he's number one. He's a genius I want my lyrics to be like his
I put Keenan right up there with Dylan. Completely different styles and it comes down to preference. As far as the hard rock/metal genre goes, he's at the top of the food chain. I love the variety of MJK's writing. His catalog hits all levels of human emotion as well as tackling traits and obstacles that keep us from growing. While I feel his best work is with Tool, his writing with APC and Puscifer is also strong. Tool is definitely an acquired taste that takes several listens to fully appreciate. Those who find the time and patience will be rewarded!
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.
Maynard's lyrics are like an Ogre, they have layers. Is that how the saying goes?
Many - maybe even most - of his songs are thoughtful, funny, provocative, and emotional all at once. That alone takes tremendous skill. Additionally, he uses less end-rhyme than almost any other popular singer aside from Ani DiFranco.
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!
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.
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.
He is the best. Half of the songs that made some other bands famous were written by Bob Dylan he just wasn't a great singer.
How is he not #1. Both Lennon and Waters would be the first to stay it is absurd they ahead of their writing Idol Dylan.
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... "
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.
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
Pete is the best writer of his generation when tackling the issues of teenage angst.
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
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"
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.
His lyrics are a lot more complicated than people seem to notice. After the first 2 albums, metallica songs had very deep meanings. Although even lyrics to early songs like jump in the fire consist of fun yet complex lyrics
If you didn't vote for James, you better have never listened to Metallica.
If not look up a lyric video of One or The Unforgiven
James should be #1! His lyrics kick ass!
Jim morrison should be 2nd after dylan. Possibly the most intelligent and poetic rockstar ever.
Break on through to the other side. Enough said.
The End, Celebration of the Lizard to name a few.
Squirmin like a toad seriously.
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.
He was the man who combined grunge with glam metal with his touching voice and heart through lyrics just like Cobain...
"what more in the name of love"
Only 12? I mean he's worse lyricst than Lennon, but he was one of the first songwriters to write more mature songs like For No One, She's Leaving Home, Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday.
Number 12? Paul McCartney should be at least in the top 3
Just listen to well um... ANY SONG
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
SErj is a fantastic lyricist suiting his audience. while my opinion was spli8t between serj and Maynard from tool/apc.. maynard always gets exccesive attention due to the fantasticisty iof his band... the depth of his lyrics would mean little if not for his bands mates (EG danny carey-what fantastic time signiatures, besides.. I have it from inside sources that tool is and always has been danny's band)
While Serj, has left SOAD and proven himself both great behind and infron tof the mic.. writing and performing his album in its entirety.
My other favourites are:
- Layne staley who is a god and is above such lists...
- mike patton who is a great vocalist if not a lyricist... same for Phil Anselmo (My personal favourite vocalist)
... and who put Gene Hoglan on here, he's a drummer?!?!?
Expected to see him in the top ten!
Thoughtful and explicit, Neil is able to tackle both philosophical and personal topics with beauty and precision. His writing was never tired or cliche. It is inspirational, descriptive and thought-provoking.
Listen to songs such as limelight, the pass and prime mover etc and the lyrics will blow your face inside out.
Heavily influenced by the Greeks and Shakespeare, but unique on his own as well...
His lyrics really "deviate from the norm"
To have Bernie Taupin at 15 is total disrespect to one of the greatest lyricists of all time.
He should definitely be in the top 5, if not the top 3 lyricists of all time.
Has to be in the top 5.
Complex and innovative when most hits were written for three chords
This man has made and continues to make some of the most profound and moving pieces of literature through his amazing storytelling capabilities in his music. He should be way higher
He might be on 17, but unlike the others in the list he is contemporaneous. the album humbug is a lyrical masterpiece and he deserves a higher place in my opinion.
Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of some of the people listed above but Alex's lyrics are so creative and beautiful, how can you list him this low
He should definitely be higher, he did make one of the best songs in history and that is even stated.
25th? I don't believe this!
His songs helped every other teenager..He gave everyone support.. No. 37 is very low for him.. He is at least better than Alex Turner, Kurt Cobain, and others even though I like them too.. All his songs have great meanings...
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).