The Greatest Rock & Roll Lyricists of the 1960s

The Greatest Rock & Roll Lyricists of the 1960s

The emergence of rock & roll in the 1950s left it poised to become the most important medium for social commentary and consciousness in the decade that followed. It was in that time that most of the prolific and poetic lyricists of the genre came of age.

In the five decades that have followed since the sixties, there have been precious few who are their equal. So here are the top rock & roll lyricists of the 1960s:

 

bob-dylanBOB DYLAN
Indisputably, Dylan is the port laureate of modern music. His¬†fusion of folk consciousness with rock literally transformed music. No more vivid imagery or flowery prose can be found in any lyricist’s work, since. Nor has the meaning of any other’s lyrics been as elusive and mysterious.

 

 

robert hunterROBERT HUNTER
The Grateful Dead’s lyricist rarely played with the band. For pure poetry and fidelity to poetic verse, he might be the best in history.

 

 

 

Lennon and McCartneyJOHN LENNON & PAUL McCARTNEY
The duo’s short lived run as the heart and soul of The Beatles is more then compensated for by their body of work. Their economy of words did not sacrifice content.

 

 

 

Pete TownsendPETE TOWNSEND
The Who’s lead guitarist was a simplistic writer. His lyrics by and large consisted of simple phrases with not much metaphor or hidden meaning.

 

 

 

Roger WatersROGER WATERS
The words of Pink Floyd’s songs were a cross between Dylan and Townsend, in that they combined the fluidity of poetry with undisguised meaning.

 

 

 

Mick JaggerMICK JAGGER
The Rolling Stones are not and never were the world’s greatest rock band; but their lyrics never disappointed.

 

 

 

Paul SimonPAUL SIMON
Simon was perhaps the most under-acknowledged songwriter of his generation, probably because despite his enormous popularity (with or without Art Garfunkel), he did not induce the hysteria and hoopla that the other bands listed here did.

Do you agree with my choices? Who did I miss?  Tell us below.

One Response to The Greatest Rock & Roll Lyricists of the 1960s

  1. Mike says:

    The Rolling Stones are the greatest rock and roll band, period.
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