Top Ten Best Singer/Songwriters
The Top Ten
I often wonder people's knowledge on songwriting and what do they base their songwriting on. John Lennon is the greatest songwriter ever and wins by a country mile, no one comes close to him not even Dylan. He made the Beatles in to prophets and took them foreward. Maccartney's greatness shined through only when he was led. Every other songwriter were limited and predictable. Lennon was much more diverse and had more in his locker. I get so fed up hearing about Dylan being a songwriter, he was not, he used music to convey his poetry. He basically was a protest writer and became an icon with that movement. I don't understand why the music industry is obsessed with him. What else did he have... Nothing... He was envious of Lennon's Intellect and pulling power. Some of Dylan's songs lacked chorus and bridge. Hie version of Norwegian wood was a joke and his Christmas album was embarrassing. In the 80's he produced nothing. Lennon was more prolific and consistent with lyrics and melody. So ...more
Hey dude dd369 you don't know anything about song writing and a Lennon hater. What is the question, song writer. One song that kills Dylan... Imagine, It is sung all around the world. Dylan a genius don't make me laugh, it shows you are limited, you can't even spell genius. Song writing is not just lyrics. If Lennon wanted he could easy write like Dylan but he was to advanced and much more diverse. Dylan's songs didn't exactly touch people's inner self like Lennon's did. What did he do in the 80's, nothing, he is a joke, didn't know what faith to follow and kept chaining. Musically, lyrics, singing Lennon wins easy. Dylan's word play was predictable, Lennon's word play was much more clever. Dylan had to write a whole verse to make a point, Lennon could do this with few words, Lennon was a superior human being. You can back to me with anything you like and I promise you I will counteract it.
Oh and Lennon never changed? There is a good case for placing Lennon ahead of Dylan as a songwriter but your argument is way off base on many points. Furthermore, Dylan wrote many more songs, and I'd venture to say Lennon may have given him the crown. The Beatles adored him. Also, since John was killed in 1980, Dylan was much more prolific in that decade.
I tell you that; if you however have chance to ask Bob Dylan(one of the most genious when it comes to write masterpieces) that logically who's the best songwriter ever?.. The answer my friend is (blowin' in the wind :-p :-)) ; there's no problem with me but I think John Lennon is 1 or 2 bottom better than me... :_)
Lennon/McCartney by a country mile. Dylan 2nd? Don't make me laugh. If you think I'm wrong then explain how he sold 10 times the number of records and had 30 times as many #1 hits as Dylan. Oh by the way how many of Dylan's songs have been used in T.V. commercials and how many Lennon songs have been used? People vote with their wallets. By every metric Lennon crushes everyone except McCartney
John Lennon over Dylan? Lennon was an embarrassing human being and I would argue, the worst beatle too. Paul and George were the heart and soul of that band. Incredibly overrated writer and author of that popular song "imagine" that pretty much just states "If you'd think like me, the world would be a better place" without evidence to sustain that point at all. As if non believers hadn't ever done wrong in our history... Just a rambling hippie.
That said, nothing comes close to Dylan. Maybe Cohen. But that's about it.
Is obviously the greatest singer/"songwriter" of all time. Bob Dylan actually wrote his songs, and didn't rely on other people to create them. I honestly have no idea how Josh Groban is even on this list!
Should clearly be first. Josh Groban the greatest singer-songwriter of ALL time? You are all patently complete morons.
Why Bob Dylan?
Because there was no other artist that has performed this consistently over the course of over 50 years? I will generously ignore his "Reborn Period" in the 80's and even during that time he wrote "good mainstream music", it just wasn't anything extraordinary or interesting. The only two artists who rival his songwriting are obviously Lennon and McCartney. But neither of them performed this consistently. Lennon died too soon (Roll On John), but even he had a bad period and McCartney just wasn't the same after the Beatles breakup.
Because Dylan keeps reinventing himself over the years, moving from Pretest Folk singer to Rockstar, back to Folk, to Country, to Blues, to Gospel and then even to some kind of music style, just to release a Sinatra cover album and move to a more jazzy style? Yes, the Beatles music was more diverse and Dylan never touched the really freaky stuff (Looking at you I Am The Walrus), but the Beatles were just ...more
Whoever called McCartney the king of blues is obviously ignorant of music and quite foolish... King of blues is Robert Johnson
BUT McCartney is still one of the best. He is a fantastic wordsman and compeses beautiful hits from "yesterday", "band on the run" and even working on some of my favorite kanye West songs. If it was my top five it'd be:
1. Queen(all four members)
2. Geezer Butler
3. Paul McCartney
4. Roger waters
5. John Lennon
The most successful singer/songwriter of all time! it's in the Guinness book of world records! and of course he was the other half of the famous songwriting duo Lennon/McCartney, he should be here it's so obvious
Paul is considered to be in the greatest writing duet of all time (Lennon-McCartney). He was also part of the biggest band of all time and he is the world's most successful artist. Why is Paul all the way down here? HOW DOES JOSH GROBAN EVEN BEAT PAUL?!
I love his songs so much. I don't understand; Why is he worse than Bob Dylan? This guy is the king of blues and I also wonder why didn't he create I'm blue. Har Har Har.
The quality of work produced by Simon has been outstanding for over 50 years, many of his songs having become timeless standards. His body of work now stands comparison with any of the world's great composers or poets throughout history. His lyrics are exceptional, poetic, moving and profound, and his melodies have shaped the development of popular music in the post 1960 world. His work consistently has something interesting to say about the human condition, and has at its heart a love for mankind.
Yes Paul Simon what a fine body of work as a solo artist, with Art Garfunkel and other great musicians. Bridge Over Troubled Water one of the greatest songs ever - right at the very top with Danny Boy! Because Art Garfunkel had the lead on Bridge Over Troubled Water I did not realise how great a singer Paul is until I saw him on YouTube with David Crosby and Graham Nash on stage together singing George Harrison's Here Comes The Sun - now that is as good as it gets! What a combo and beautiful guitar playing by Paul too. Been a fan since about 1975! Rock on!
VERY, VERY, VERY WELL PUT! Love Paul Simon's VERY IMPORTANT body of work! Beautiful marriages of melody and lyric! Poignant subject matter throughout his wonderful carrier!
However he still needs to be ranked behind McCartney, Lennon and Dylan... I know it SUCKS... But the completion was fierce! Just look at these composers (including Simon)... AND they were ALL from the same ERA! What a magical period in popular song!
Greatest diversity jn lyrics and arrangements, amazing career,spanning 6 decades.
Have you ever heard the march of the black queen? That song is one of the greatest musical creations.
Dylan is above Freddie? Oh come on! Dylan is a good songwriter but a horrible singer, he has no singing voice, he is just talking. This list is singers who are good songwriters, too. Dylan is very far from the others, especially Freddie in singing.
No this list is best singer/songwriters, and not the best songwriters. Read the title again! So this list is the best singers who are also best songwriters. So you have to watch the singing and songwriting skills together.
He is good song writer and singer, he should be in the top 10 list.. I didn't like the singer in number 1 list.. Maybe some people who vote to him maybe a teenager or young and he's famous at this time that is why he is in the no. 1 in the list.. For me I will vote for the vocalist and song writer of 60s 70s 80s and 90s because the song that they write are beautiful and meaningful than the songs the are come famous for now.. I'm 24 years old but I like the song from the past than now.. Philippines
I hate the fact that everywhere I see the top songwriter list, I see Bob Dylan. Now I'm a Dylan fan. But this whole Dylan is the greatest thing is pissing me off. I like "Blowing in the Wind." I like "The Times They Are a Changing." I like "Tambourine Man," but I don't know what the hell it means. And I love "The Hurricane." But what are his top songs? Why are they the greatest ever?
Every time I see one of these lists, people expect me to believe that these Dylan songs are superior to "The River? " "Darkness on the Edge of Town? " "Stolen Car? " "Born in the USA? " "My Hometown? " "Nebraska? " "Reason to Believe? " or any regular old Springsteen song?
We're just supposed to believe that Dylan is the greatest?
Anybody who's a music lover, probably loves Dylan. I do too. But anybody who's ever tried to write a song, knows who he or she is trying to copy.
This Dylan = number1 is just ridiculous.
Springsteen has released 17 studio albums, and 2 compilations of songs that were unreleased. That is a hell of a lot more of what some of these singers ahead of him have done. Bruce's songs have meaning in them, just listen to "Atlantic City" "The River" "Born To Run". Not everyone has heard of him he is very underrated in this generation, that's probably why he's so far down the list
I've gone through dozens of list of this nature and this guy is in the top 10 on all of them. Seriously just read the words to any of his stiff from the 70's and 80's. Deep songs about normal everyday problems. Other than Bob Dylan I don't know who would be a better contender for best singer songwriter in the history of modern music
Springsteen? Dylan? Hey, they're both great and there's room for both. I love Springsteen's lyrics, especially Brilliant Disguise, The River, My Hometown, and If I Should Fall Behind.
Pink Floyd became the biggest rock band of all time because
1. The inspiration of Syd Barrett
2. The guitar work of David Gilmour
And 3. The brilliant songwriting of Roger Waters
Actually, the Beatles are the biggest one. They made it all possible. - waldo
Roger Waters wrote entire legendary albums like The Dark side of the Moon and The Wall
I like Bob, John and Paul more, but I can't believe how low Roger is! Gotta vote him up, he deserves it.
Amazing songwriter and great poet!
Absolutely! His wealth of songs is EXTRAORDINARY! Sure Bernie wrote the lyrics but then Elton composed the whole within 30 minutes... AMAZING!
Greatest pop musician/songwriter of all time. You can pick his voice & his songs anywhere at any time. He's 71 AND HE'S STILL PERFORMING! In fact, he's going to embark on a 3 year world tour!
The melody is far more important to me than the lyrics. If I don't like the melody, it doesn't matter how good the lyrics are, I won't like the song & Elton John writes the best melodies ever.
He didn't write the lyrics to most of his songs. Shouldn't be on here
But he wrote the music itself, which I think is more important. And he's an incredible singer! - Deathtoy4444
What an amazing musician. Metallica wouldn't exist without him. He is the main songwriter, guitar riffs writer, and an great guitarist and of curse a great vocalist. He started to creat legendery metal songs since he was 18.
Yep, so true, his songwriting skills are sublime, (Roamer? One? The unforgiven trilogy? , I don't know where to start :S )
Hear songs like one, Fade To Black, Enter Sandman, UnForgiven, The Day That Never Comes, Master Of Puppets. And you will know that he is the best lyrics writer with deep meanings inside his mind
No no no, james should be in the top 10 he's a kick ass singer and a great songwriter you people should know better than to put james at 11
He did write most of his songs and if you say he didn't, then go do some research. Here are just some of the songs written by him entirely: Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Earth Song, Will You Be There, Speechless, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel, Wanna Be Startin' Something, Workin' Day and Night, Morphine, I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Do You Know Where Your Children Are, Much Too Soon, Stranger in Moscow, D.S., Who Is It and Another Part of Me. He wrote 4 out of 9 songs on Thriller and 9 out of 11 songs on Bad. Not to mention, he co-wrote songs like: Black or White (only the rap part wasn't written by him), Remember the Time, Ghosts, Unbreakable, You Rock My World, Hollywood Tonight, Xscape, Love Never Felt So Good, Keep the Faith, Is It Scary, Scream, Tabloid Junkie, Break of Dawn, Whatever Happens, Dangerous and Blood on the Dance Floor. Sure, he has hit songs that weren't written by him, such as: You Are Not Alone, Thriller and Man in the ...more
Michael created a depth to his songs like no other. He sang with true emotion and feelings providing the listener with a connection to him personally. He meant what he sang and I love him for that. He was believable with the songs that he wrote and as a singer. love him xo mj
Someone said "Michael just writes, but Dylan is an intellectual thinker and is the most creative songwriter on earth". ARE YOU INSAANE! You OBVIOUSLY DON'T have intelligence if you think THAT! Listen, Michael wrote songs that touched the MASSES AND CHANGED OUR POINT OF VIEW OF THIS WHOLE WORLD FOR BETTER OR WORST! I mean we're talking Billie Jean, Wanna be starting something, Dirty Diana, Heal the World, Keep the Faith, Tabloid Junkie, D.S. , Is it Scary, Earth Song, Little Susie. And he's written some of the BEST and MOST BEAUTIFUL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL music I have EVER HEARD such as Childhood, Stranger in Moscow, and Scared of the Moon. And the EMOTION HE BRINGS to those songs when he sings them is out of this UNIVERSE! I mean don't get me wrong I think Bob Dylan IS a TREMENDOUS songwriter undoubtably one of the GREATEST EVER But I say Michael is either tied or over him!
There's no other option except putting this genius of a guy into the top 3. Michael Jackson is was and will be the greatest pop artist, and not only that, he was just an epic and full of quality songwriter. Listen to Earth Song, Heal the world, man in the mirror, billie jean. Such devil masterpieces.
Great to see Neil crack the top 20. What I like about this top twenty, with the exception of Groban, is that the people on it are not only great songwriters but have also influenced other great songwriters in most cases. No flash in the pans on this list. Aside from the inexplicable Groban error, good list.
Neil Young is the closest to Bob Dylan anyone will ever come. He's still light years behind but he definitely deserves a higher spot
Yes, should be higher but honestly, he's a lot higher on this list than he is on some of the others. One has him behind Nick Jonas, for crying out loud.
He should be at least second to Bob Dylan and defiantly ahead of kurt Cobain; no offense but even he said his lyrics where throwaways
Billy Joel is great! My favorite songs that he made are Piano Man, Angry Young Man, The Entertainer, Say Goodbye to Hollywood, We didn't Start the Fire, Honesty, My Life, Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway.
I don't know what you posters ages are but Billy Joel wrote and performed some of the greatest songs ever. He also wrote many songs for other singers.
He's amazing! Harmonica, piano, and singing! He has made so Many amazing songs that have lasted through time. He is the piano man.
Billy Joel is awesome.
He is simply one of the creates songwriters of all time, he established a genre and became the voice of an entire generation. He voiced all the angst that covered teenagers he accomplished many things in his life. Kurt Cobain is amazing.
Kurt doesn't deserve 17th. He was one of the most original songwriters ever. Every single one of Nirvanas songs as proof
Nobody can write a song like Kurt! RIP. Find me one songwriter better than Kurt Cobain (Kurdt Kobain). What did he ask to be rememberd as?
What he was best at! Writing songs! Vote for him! Or else...
When I first heard lithium I thought it was just random nonsense but after finding out lithium is an antidepressant I made so much more sense. He wrote other great songs like old age which didn't even make an album which shows how talented he is.
Why isn't he in the Top 10? Just listen to his songwriting on albums like Tommy, Who's Next, Quadrophenia, and The Who Sell Out. This list is an insult!
He's one of many very good writers but there are dozens that are/were much better - Billyv
I can't believe he's not in the top ten. My favourite song writer of all time! He writes from the heart! Expresses all the anger he has through his songs. Angry with the world, angry with himself.
Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, My Generation, I Can See For Miles (first metal song), and having written well more than 100 songs for band's. And where is Mick Jagger/Keith Richard? They should be at least, 5.
Inspired the rock opera, and he's currently ranked 16th.
Yes, Dylan is a Master songwriter, and George, Paul and John, to, but Jackson gets my vote for having the most diverse body of work. His lyrics are profound, hopeful, personal, and politically and emotionally aware. His singing and arrangements are beautiful. His guitar and piano playing are great. His personal and humanitarian ethics are top notch. He is Number One and it is strange that he does not get the recognition that he deserves.
Jackson Browne is among a handful of top singer-songwriters. To look at those ranked above Jackson Browne reveals that at least someone does not understand what it means to be a singer-songwriter. His body of work is extensive and widely recognized. Further, there are very few more influential singer-songwriters who have influenced the careers of other singer-songwriters. Browne certainly influenced Glen Frey and Don Henley, as well as Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, among others.
Speaking of "Running on Empty", that album is one of the most amazing live albums ever. Listen to how tight his band is--it sounds like they're in the studio! Another accomplishment of Browne's was co-writing the Eagles song "Take It Easy" with Glenn Frey. Yes, I've heard that he and Hannah had a problem or two. We're voting for songwriters, though, not choir boys.
Jackson should be at the very top of this list. He's a wordsmith like no other. Go listen to Late For the Sky, For Everyman, The Pretender or I'm Alive. In fact all his albums and songs are noteworthy. He puts words to feelings you never knew you had until he described it.
History speaks for itself. They didn't always make my kind of music, but you can't argue with their success. Actually, the Bee Gees wrote some beautiful acoustic type ballads before they went disco. To Love Somebody, Gotta Get a Message to You, First of May, Massachusetts, Holiday, we're all beautiful ballads.
In objective terms, based on hits and record sales, Barry Gibb should be #2 behind McCartney/Lennon. Gibb's song were more intricate than the Beatles songs. He also wrote numerous hits for other people in diverse styles. He tends to be dismissed as "disco" but he had great success both before and after that period.
I vote for Barry Gibb on for the Bee Gees for the many years of music and songwriting that this man has done throughout his whole life. As a part of his group, I know he doesn't see any of my postings or maybe not even anyone else but he still number one of the best singer and songwriter in history
The right order of this list should be like this: lennon/mccartney, barry gibb, george harrison, freddie mercury then whatever...
-Life on Mars
-Ashes to Ashes
-Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
-Loving the Alien
-The Man Who Sold The World
-Lady Grinning Soul
-Oh You Pretty Things
-Rock n Roll Suicide
-All The Young Dudes
What is wrong with people? David Bowie is clearly one of the best, he should be at least top ten.
The fact that Bowie is so low on this list makes the entire list irrelevant. Ridiculous
Better than Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and everyone on the top 77... He's the best song-writer of all time
That's what I like about this list. You finally see people like Lightfoot, Taylor, Petty, Van Morrison, and Denver get their due. People who have established that they are among the all time great songwriters, and not a bunch of people who have just had a hit or two. With maybe a couple exceptions, this is a very intelligent top twenty.
He #1 with me he should at least be top 50 On this list hard to believe
Running Down a Dream, American Girl, Breakdown, Free Fallin, Last Dance with Mary Jane
Almost 60 & got a NEW 2disc CD out-it's great-did you guys forget him just cause he's softspoken?
Tom Petty is an amazing human being. There is a lot of heart and soul in his music.
Good to see a list that gives Denver his due. Maybe his songs don't have any deep, dark meanings to them, but that's not who the man was. He wrote simple, heart touching melodies. I've heard that the melody and words to Annie's Song came to him in fifteen minutes while he was riding up a ski lift. That is a talented man with a special gift. Not a bad actor, either, if you've ever seen Oh God with he and George Burns.
An exceptional talent in both singing and writing! I can't think of better love songs than "For You", "Never a Doubt" and "Perhaps Love".
A simply brilliant songwriter
John Denver OWNED the 70s. Love to see JD on this list. His songs reflected his deep convictions. He was ahead of his time. A genius singer songwriter.
You can tell a real good songwriter by how many others want to do his or her songs. Aretha Franklin, the Osmonds, the Beatles, James Taylor, the Drifters, the Everly Brothers, Steve Lawrence, and Grand Funk Railroad are just a few of the many and diverse artists who have recorded Carloe King songs. In this category, I believe Ms. King can only be matched by Bob Dylan and the Beatles, or possibly Buddy Holly.
I'm not saying this list is sexist, but why is the top 20 all male? Women have their fair share of experience in songwriting.
My sister turns 50 and can sing all her songs
Very meticulous songwriter and still a good live performer even in his late seventies. Really researched the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald to the point where everything in the song is pretty much accurate. Also did great ballads like Beautiful, If You Could Read My Mind, and Early Morning Rain.
Yes! Thanks to whoever added him to this list. Very underappreciated artist
Should be on the top ten list.
If people listened to his earliest few albums before he went mainstream pop, they would
probably agree with Dylan that he is one of the best ever.
Also what happened to Neil Diamond who wrote more hit songs than anyone except
Lennon and McCartney.
My all-time favorite. This list is a breath of fresh air compared to the crappy songwriters list Top Tens has out. Seriously, go visit that site if you want to see rankings that will make you puke.
This man is very understated.
Not only does he play beautiful guitar but he writes lyrics that are loved and sung by everybody.
He's the best. Haven't heard his new album yet. Have seen him twice live, go see him if you haven't, you'll be in for a treat.
I saw him live in a solo performance in a small old theater with great acoustics. Perfect setting, perfect art. - Billyv
The best singer songwriter of all - nobody matches his lyrics and melodies
The greatest living poet and singer songwriter of the last 50 years and still performing to vast worldwide audiences
The more I listen the more it grows on my - the perfect lyrics and the harmonies.
When it comes to lyrics Cohen is the best hands down
Obvious top 10 material right here. It is disgusting that talentless losers like Bon Jovi are ahead of him.
Just imagine, he was given only two or three songs per album when he was with the Beatles. Yet three of his most popular beatles songs almost always acquire spot in top ten list. Had he got gotten more songs, then John-Lennon songwritering duo would be seriously under threat.
But then George Harrison's solo career is also the proof he was equal to John and Paul. All Things Must Pass is still greatest album by solo beatles. He may not have given hits after hits like Paul when four for them were in their prime. But it's George Harrison who gave first and last US number one hit. So take that!
Many still argue that George Harrison has best solo career. I also believe.
In the best most influential band in the world, The Beatles, George Harrison deserves #1 instead of 17. He was the best songwriter of the Beatles, and equally as good a singer as Lennon and McCartney, George has had many influential songs including Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, My Sweet Lord, Isn't it a pity, Apple Scruffs, What is Life, and many more. Something, written by Harrison, has been sung by hundreds of musicians after him, and he IS still the most influential Beatle, in the most influential band, in the most influential era of music
Very underrated, he wrote many of the beatles' best songs including Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes The Sun, If I needed someone, Taxman... he was a really talented man.
Hard to believe some people vote thumbs down on comments like this - then again it's not so hard, the world's full of people who don't understand brilliance - Billyv
I believe that George's songwriting ability was often unappreciated during the time of the Beatles! Don't forget that it was George who wrote Here Comes The Sun, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Taxman, I Need You, etc.