T Nation

Best songwriter?

WHo is the best songwriter ever? My brother says Neil Young & I’ve heard his stuff, & Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s, & I still say Roger Waters is better than any of them. What you think?

John Butler

Hard to pick just one, so I will write my list: Bob Dylan, Bob Seeger, Paul McCartney an John Lennon, Bruce Cockburn (Canadian), Joni Mitchell (Canadian), Bruce Springsteen.

Bob Dylan naturally.

BTW, was anyone else at Woodstock besides me? And there is no need for any antique or Methusla wisecracks. :slight_smile:

Billy Corgan.

While Neil Young is a great songwriter I don’t think he can compare to Dylan, McCartney, or Lennon. I don’t think its possible to say who the greatest is. It’s pretty safe to say the three I just mentioned are among the top songwriters ever. With Young and Waters perhaps a notch below.

While I love Waters and Young I don’t think “Heart of Gold” or “Wish you were here” can compare to “Imagine” or “Blowin in the WInd”. But again thats just me.

Good debate topic.

I was thinking oof songs like Comfortably Numb (Waters did the lyrics, Gilmour did the music), Time, Breathe & the whole Amused to Death album for Waters. It’s kind of a different style from Dylan or Young, so it’s kind of hard to compare them but I still think Waters is better than those two. Leonard Cohen is really good, I like how he writes ‘The Johnny Walker wisdon runnin high’ to say everyone’s got a buzz in ‘Closing Time’.

Hank Williams. I can not listen to todays country music. It sounds so bland and mass produced. But ole Hank was for real and I bet Dylan and a lot of the others mentioned above would agree.

The ballad that Ernie sings about the rubber ducky takes the cake. Lyrics are solid, background music is exceptional, and presentation gets an A.

My dad.

Paul McCartney

My mom and my dad.


I’m 40.

Hey gramps, what was it really like? Did you get all naked and muddy? Was the brown acid bad? Lots of free love going around I bet eh? Did you inhale? How can we trust you? You’re over thirty now. I heard you guys were cooking dogs to alleviate the munchies? Is that true?

Low blow Michelle! Actually, I think I saw him there. Wasn’t he the guy trying to climb the stage with nothing on to give Dylan a toke? Or was that me? Gawd dang. That was a long time ago.

Bono from U2. Hands down. Listen to any of their albums- especially Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, or All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

Both my parents were at Woodstock in 69…I was at the one in 95 but I’m glad I was no where near that last fiasco. Additionally, you’re absolutely correct; Bob Dylan takes it. (Can ya tell my parents were hippies? I was reared on Dylan…and my name was almost Neptune.)

A definite under-rated songwriter who never gets mentioned in these discussions is Tom Waits. Not a great singer, but some truly beautiful songs.

Yup. I was. Ran away from New York Military Academcy’s Summer Camp (bad, bad food and little or no weight equipment[and this was suppost to be a special sport training program]) and caught a ride with some Hippies in VW mirco bus. I think Billy Joel has shown the most range.

David Allen Coe by far.