The 20 Greatest Singer-Songwriters of All Time

for the intelligent person.

Good song lyrics are like poetry (but set to music). Like with everything it is not easy to write good lyrics. But the question is what makes good lyrics? For me, it's the ability to express some type of emotion or feeling in a non-obvious and intelligent way (so, no Bob Marley I'm afraid is included here because he wrote lyrics a depressed teenager would be ashamed of).

The selection of singer/songwriters I have made is both extremely subjective and a little pretentious. I feel that being English has had some influence on my selection (my knowledge of country music or some other styles of music is a little limited, I’m afraid). In addition, I have only included songwriters who have mainly sang their own lyrics (so no Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley).

To see what other people think about the singer-songwriters in this list (don’t just take my word for it), click on the amazon image Amazon logo and link at the end of each of the singer-songwriters listed. In addition, it'll also show you the album (some of which are compilations) which I think is their best.

Singer-Songwriter Band
1. Leonard Cohen Himself Amazon logo and link
2. David Bowie Himself Amazon logo and link
3. Morrissey The Smiths Amazon logo and link
4. Bob Dylan Himself Amazon logo and link
5. Lennon & McCartney The Beatles Amazon logo and link
6. John Lydon (Sid Vicious) The Sex Pistols Amazon logo and link
7. Neil Young Himself Amazon logo and link
8. Michael Stipe REM Amazon logo and link
9. Chuck D Public Enemy Amazon logo and link
10. Chris Bowsher Radical Dance Faction
11. Paul Weller The Jam & Himself Amazon logo and link
12. Nick Cave Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Amazon logo and link
13. PJ Harvey Herself Amazon logo and link
14. Tim Booth James Amazon logo and link
15. Gruff Rhys Super Furry Animals Amazon logo and link
16. Jello Biafra Dead Kennedys Amazon logo and link
17. Jack White The White Stripes Amazon logo and link
18. Trent Reznor Nine Inch Nails Amazon logo and link
19. Buddy Holly Himself Amazon logo and link
20. Prince Himself Amazon logo and link