Best songwriters of all time?

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Registered User

Joined: 07/15/02

Posts: 111

what about Eric Clapton? I consider him a talented songwriter and lyricist. Mikael Akerfeldt is my personal hero (he plays in Opeth, does vocals, guitars, pianos and everything else)
I think Neil Young is a strong songwriter, as was kurt cobain and bob dylan. Phil Anselmo is a poet of our generation in my eyes, gifted songwriter and musician
Max Cavalera of sepultura and soulfly, and paige hamilton of Helmet.
There really are countless great songwriters to choose from, often of different eras, and yeah I LOVE eddie vedder and pearl jam.
Layne staley and jerry cantrell were the guys who got me through my teens, and James Hetfield of metallica!

I'd say my top 5 are

1.Mikael Akerfeldt
2.James Hetfield
3.Eric Clapton
4.Layne Staley/Jerry Cantrell
5.Kurt Cobain

#12

what about Eric Clapton? I consider him a talented songwriter and lyricist. Mikael Akerfeldt is my personal hero (he plays in Opeth, does vocals, guitars, pianos and everything else)
I think Neil Young is a strong songwriter, as was kurt cobain and bob dylan. Phil Anselmo is a poet of our generation in my eyes, gifted songwriter and musician
Max Cavalera of sepultura and soulfly, and paige hamilton of Helmet.
There really are countless great songwriters to choose from, often of different eras, and yeah I LOVE eddie vedder and pearl jam.
Layne staley and jerry cantrell were the guys who got me through my teens, and James Hetfield of metallica!

I'd say my top 5 are

1.Mikael Akerfeldt
2.James Hetfield
3.Eric Clapton
4.Layne Staley/Jerry Cantrell
5.Kurt Cobain

New Member

Joined: 07/20/02

Posts: 9

All of the above mentioned are indeed great but would anyone mind if i also said that Hendrix was also a goog song wrighter, and even though most just think of him for his guitar playing his lyrics were just as good in their own way (dave.c sorry for not reading your question properly)

#13

All of the above mentioned are indeed great but would anyone mind if i also said that Hendrix was also a goog song wrighter, and even though most just think of him for his guitar playing his lyrics were just as good in their own way (dave.c sorry for not reading your question properly)

Senior Member

Joined: 06/29/02

Posts: 113

No problem, farq, I just wanted to grab the bull by the horns before it rampaged down the wrong path. Vedder, Farel, and those guys are great, but they aren't guitar-people.

Yeah, Jimi was talented, but too bad his best song was written by Dylan ;)

Clapton deserves mention, too, but don't forget that "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" were written by J.J. Cale, who also wrote "They Call Me the Breeze." I would say JJ and Townes Van Zandt deserve honorable mentions. Keith Richards wrote some cool songs with Jagger. Who wrote Zeppelin's songs? They are stellar.

Many, many people deserve honorable mentions, but right now no one can even touch Dylan and Young when it comes to longevity, copiousness, and brilliance. By the way, I would rather hear Young play and sing, but Dylan writes better lyrics (and more of them!). I've seen Dylan, but not Young--yet.

DC
"It's all right son . . . we told you what to dream"

#14

No problem, farq, I just wanted to grab the bull by the horns before it rampaged down the wrong path. Vedder, Farel, and those guys are great, but they aren't guitar-people.

Yeah, Jimi was talented, but too bad his best song was written by Dylan ;)

Clapton deserves mention, too, but don't forget that "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" were written by J.J. Cale, who also wrote "They Call Me the Breeze." I would say JJ and Townes Van Zandt deserve honorable mentions. Keith Richards wrote some cool songs with Jagger. Who wrote Zeppelin's songs? They are stellar.

Many, many people deserve honorable mentions, but right now no one can even touch Dylan and Young when it comes to longevity, copiousness, and brilliance. By the way, I would rather hear Young play and sing, but Dylan writes better lyrics (and more of them!). I've seen Dylan, but not Young--yet.

DC
"It's all right son . . . we told you what to dream"

Registered User

Joined: 07/15/02

Posts: 111

just a few points

Eddie Vedder does play guitar, especially on the more recent stuff, I've seen em live twice and he plays on around half the tracks :)
I forgot to Mention Pete Townshend, dont ask me why, but I would say HE is the greatest songwriter of all time
Led zep next, most of the songs were lyrics by plant, music by jimmy page, although john paul jones and john bonham co wrote on a few tracks, black dog is one that springs to mind
I personally would disagree with young and dylan being untouchable, I love neil young, but with 38 albums to his name, he's written some junk as well as some genius stuff
I dont rate the beatles much at all, but the sheer amount of people who love them, means they've got to have done SOMETHING right
and yeah Cale did write some of clapton's more popular tunes, but think about layla, have you ever loved a woman, tears in heaven, pilgrim, wonderful tonight, the list goes on, he's written some amazing material of his own too.
Peter Green is another fantastic songwriter, as is andy fraser, ok he's a bassist, but I had to slip him in
Honestly, it's all down to personal perference here, a song that speaks to one person, another person may hate, it's soo subjective, although I love talks like this, I love hearing about people I've never heard of, so I can check em out!

#15

just a few points

Eddie Vedder does play guitar, especially on the more recent stuff, I've seen em live twice and he plays on around half the tracks :)
I forgot to Mention Pete Townshend, dont ask me why, but I would say HE is the greatest songwriter of all time
Led zep next, most of the songs were lyrics by plant, music by jimmy page, although john paul jones and john bonham co wrote on a few tracks, black dog is one that springs to mind
I personally would disagree with young and dylan being untouchable, I love neil young, but with 38 albums to his name, he's written some junk as well as some genius stuff
I dont rate the beatles much at all, but the sheer amount of people who love them, means they've got to have done SOMETHING right
and yeah Cale did write some of clapton's more popular tunes, but think about layla, have you ever loved a woman, tears in heaven, pilgrim, wonderful tonight, the list goes on, he's written some amazing material of his own too.
Peter Green is another fantastic songwriter, as is andy fraser, ok he's a bassist, but I had to slip him in
Honestly, it's all down to personal perference here, a song that speaks to one person, another person may hate, it's soo subjective, although I love talks like this, I love hearing about people I've never heard of, so I can check em out!

Senior Member

Joined: 07/01/02

Posts: 126

i think john lennon was pretty good, and neil young.
jimi hendrix is my favorite guitarist, but he isnt much at writing lyrics.
Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess was why several of us died of tuberculosis.

#16

i think john lennon was pretty good, and neil young.
jimi hendrix is my favorite guitarist, but he isnt much at writing lyrics.
Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess was why several of us died of tuberculosis.

Senior Member

Joined: 06/29/02

Posts: 113

OK, Nasum, you're right about Clapton. He wrote some great stuff. And I agree that Young has written some crap over the years (especially that song "Piece of Crap" from "Sleeps with Angels" I think, which was really a piece!).

One name I haven't seen mentioned is Tom Petty. Recently inducted into the rock n' roll hall of fame, he's a living legend, in my opinion. Plays mostly rhythm, but he's a solid guitarist.

I didn't realize Vedder played guitar.

DC
"It's all right son . . . we told you what to dream"

#17

OK, Nasum, you're right about Clapton. He wrote some great stuff. And I agree that Young has written some crap over the years (especially that song "Piece of Crap" from "Sleeps with Angels" I think, which was really a piece!).

One name I haven't seen mentioned is Tom Petty. Recently inducted into the rock n' roll hall of fame, he's a living legend, in my opinion. Plays mostly rhythm, but he's a solid guitarist.

I didn't realize Vedder played guitar.

DC
"It's all right son . . . we told you what to dream"

New Member

Joined: 07/20/02

Posts: 9

I prefer to listen to dylon more than young 4 dylon albums and 3 young albums.

It's just a shame that the artist's who have covered dylon songs have mannaged to make them sound a little bit better,
i would also say that young has s better voice..

#18

I prefer to listen to dylon more than young 4 dylon albums and 3 young albums.

It's just a shame that the artist's who have covered dylon songs have mannaged to make them sound a little bit better,
i would also say that young has s better voice..

New Member

Joined: 07/22/02

Posts: 1

well i would have to say that Maynard James Keenan of TOOL is the greatest songwriter of all time....period. but of course someone will try to argue with me, so noone get upset, this is my opinion.

#19

well i would have to say that Maynard James Keenan of TOOL is the greatest songwriter of all time....period. but of course someone will try to argue with me, so noone get upset, this is my opinion.

Senior Member

Joined: 06/29/02

Posts: 113

Keenan certainly writes some interesting lyrics. On that note, what about Ween? They write crazy stuff. I saw them live once, and man were they wild! They kept making references to drinking Jack Daniels and smoking crack. I think they were partying pretty hard that night. Not really my kind of partying, but they were entertaining.

DC
"It's all right son . . . we told you what to dream"

#20

Keenan certainly writes some interesting lyrics. On that note, what about Ween? They write crazy stuff. I saw them live once, and man were they wild! They kept making references to drinking Jack Daniels and smoking crack. I think they were partying pretty hard that night. Not really my kind of partying, but they were entertaining.

DC
"It's all right son . . . we told you what to dream"