A few caveats about this category: 1) we are going to include folk-rockers, country-rockers, and pop-rockers in this list because we aren’t doing another one. This is not a list of the best rock and roll bands (that’s for a later post), but of the best writers of songs sung by various kinds of rockers; 2)priority should be given to those who have had sustained excellence over a long period of time. Writers of One hit wonders (e.g. Sugarloaf’s ‘Green Eyed Lady’; Rod Argent’s ‘Hold Your Head Up’; Jay Ferguson’s ‘Thunder Island’, Shocking Blue’s ‘Venus’) do not consistute great songwriters worthy of Rock n’ Roll Heaven; 3) Music and lyrics matter, not just one or the other. In general the folkies do better and try harder on the lyrics, the rockers on the tunes, but this is not always the case. Bearing all this in mind, I propose the following starter kit in no particular order, to which you are welcome to add on—

1) Lennon and McCartney (of course)
2) Jagger and Richards (also of course)
3) Plant and Page (ditto that)
4) Hayward and Lodge (of the Moody Blues)
5) Townsend with occasional help (the Who)
6) Wilson and Wilson (the Beach Boys)
7) Carlos Santana
8) Steve Winwood
9) Billy Joel
10) Elton John
11) Bruce Springsteen (Give the Boss his due)
12) Eric Clapton
13) Bono, the Edge
14) Michael Jackson
15) Prince
16) Buckingham/Nicks/ McVie (Fleetwood Mac)
17) the Pink Floyd folks (after Syd)
18) Neil Diamond
19) Gaudio and company who wrote for the Four Seasons
20)Lamm/Kath/ Pankow. Cetera etc. (the Chicago folks)
21) Maurice White/Phillip Bailey etc (Earth, Wind and Fire folks)
22) Bon Jovi and co.
23) Greg Lake (of ELP)
24) All those Little River Band writers
25) Bryan Adams
26) Rod Stewart
27) Jimi Hendrix
28) Sting and co.
29) Simon le Bon etc. of Duran Duran
30) Lukather the Porcaros etc. of Toto

1) Bob Dylan (did you think I would leave him out?)
2) Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

3) Various of the Eagles (especially Frey, Henley and Walsh, but also Schmidt)
4) Joni Mitchell
5) Rickie Lee Jones
6) Roger McGuinn
7) Richie Furay
8) Kenny Loggins
9) Dan Fogelberg
10) Leonard Cohen
11) Carole King
12) James Taylor
13) Bruce Hornsby
14) Simon and Garfunkel

1) Dave Matthews
2) Michael Stipe of REM
3) The team at Counting Crows
4)Neil Finn of Crowded House (just fantastic and under appreciated)
5) The Coldplay dudes
6) The Oasis dudes
7) The Train dudes
8) John Mayer

Recent Honorable mentions– Richard Page of Mr. Mister and several other bands;
Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20.

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