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100 Greatest Rock Lyrical Performances

Criteria: These are the greatest songs lyrically in rock 'n' roll. With lyrics of originality, artistic expression, emotion, wit, social consciousness and great storytelling.

Newly added names are in Red
Edited By:

Last Updated:
2017-05-20

100 Greatest Rock Lyrical Performances text title image
  1. Bob Dylan - Desolation Row
  2. Don McLean - American Pie
  3. Bob Dylan - It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
  4. John Lennon - Imagine
  5. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
  6. Bob Dylan - Shelter From The Storm
  7. Pete Townshend - Won't Get Fooled Again
  8. Roger Waters - Time
  9. Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road
10. Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
11. Bob Marley - Redemption Song
12. Paul Simon - Patterns
13. Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows
14. Ray Davies - Waterloo Sunset
15. Neil Young - Broken Arrow
16. John Fogerty - Fortunate Son
17. Bob Dylan - Masters of War
18. Jackson Browne - Late For the Sky
19. Bob Dylan - All Along The Watchtower
20. Joe Strummer - Straight to Hell
21. Bob Dylan - Visions of Johanna
22. Jim Morrison - When The Music's Over
23. Neil Young - Cortez the Killer
24. John Lennon/Paul McCartney - A Day In The Life
25. Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue
26. Bruce Springsteen - 4th of July, Asbury Park
27. Curtis Mayfield - This Is My Country
28. Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald
29. Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come
30. Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns and Money
31. Paul Simon - I am a Rock
32. Bob Dylan - Idiot Wind
33. Bob Dylan - Blowin' In The Wind
34. John Lennon - Gimme Some Truth
35. Paul Simon - Sparrow
36. Jackson Browne - These Days
37. Trent Reznor - Hurt
38. Pete Townshend - 5:15
39. Neil Young - Rockin' In the Free World
40. Joe Strummer - Somebody Got Murdered
41. Bob Dylan - Forever Young
42. Paul Simon - The Cool, Cool Water
43. Nick Cave - Into My Arms
44. Warren Zevon - Carmelita
45. Neil Young - Thrasher
46. Roger Waters - If
47. Jim Croce - Time in a Bottle
48. Jim Morrison - The End
49. Joe Strummer - Lost in a Supermarket
50. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
51. Harry Chapin - Taxi
52. Maynard James Keenan - The Noose
53. Warren Zevon - Disorder in the House
54. Smokey Robinson - Tears Of A Clown
55. Bob Dylan - Not Dark Yet
56. Joe Strummer - Shaktar Donetsk
57. Lou Reed - Heroin
58. Eddie Vedder - Off He Goes
59. Van Morrison - Madame George
60. Paul Simon - Something So Right
61. Roger Waters - When The Tigers Broke Free
62. Robert Plant - Stairway to Heaven
63. Jackson Browne - Fountain of Sorrow
64. Paul McCartney - Eleanor Rigby
65. Elvis Costello - In The Darkest Place
66. Van Morrison - Into the Mystic
67. Warren Zevon - Mutineer
68. Stevie Wonder - Living for the City
69. Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship
70. Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A Changin'
71. Elvis Costello - Man Out of Time
72. Bruce Springsteen - This Hard Land
73. Paul Simon - The Sounds of Silence
74. J. Levy/B. Dylan - Hurricane
75. Bruce Springsteen - Jungleland
76. Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
77. Paul Simon - The Boxer
78. Paul McCartney - Yesterday
79. Brian Wilson - Til I Die
80. Jim Morrison - Orange County Suite
81. Roger Waters - Eclipse
82. Joe Strummer - Spanish Bombs
83. Bruce Springsteen - Racing In the Street
84. Tom Waits - Singapore
85. Paul McCartney - Hey Jude
86. Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile
87. Kurt Cobain - Dumb
88. Eddie Vedder - Better Man
89. Paul Simon - For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her
90. Nick Cave - Tupelo
91. Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City
92. Paul Simon - Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall
93. John Lennon - Working Class Hero
94. Neil Young - Harvest Moon
95. Paul Weller - That's Entertainment
96. Smokey Robinson - Tracks Of My Tears
97. Joe Strummer - The Magnificent Seven
98. Eddie Vedder - Black
99. Maynard James Keenan - Third Eye
100. Bob Dylan - Tombstone Blues

101. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
102. Roger Waters - Cymbaline
103. Robbie Robertson - Acadian Driftwood
104. Eric Clapton - Layla
105. Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi
106. Peter Tosh - Equal Rights
107. George Harrison - Something
108. Roger Waters - The Post War Dream
109. P. Tosh/B. Marley - Get Up, Stand Up
110. Neil Young - Crime in the City
111. Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now Baby Blue
112. Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
113. Leonard Cohen - A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes
114. Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band
115. Elvis Costello - Tramp the Dirt Down
116. Stephen Stills - We Are Not Helpless
117. Mick Jagger - Sympathy For The Devil
118. Kurt Cobain - All Apologies
119. Maynard James Keenan - Passive
120. Paul Simon - Bleeker Street
121. Maynard James Keenan - Reflection
122. Kris Kristofferson - Me and Bobby McGee
123. Layne Staley - Nutshell
124. Morrissey - Everyday is Like Sunday
125. Frank Zappa - Dumb All Over
126. Peter Tosh - Here Comes the Judge
127. Holland/Dozier/Holland - Standing In The Shadow Of Love
128. Roger Waters - Brain Damage
129. Ray Davies - Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy
130. Peter Tosh - Pick Myself Up
131. Neil Peart - 2112
132. Joni Mitchell - Chelsea Morning
133. Elvis Costello - Radio Radio
134. Jerry Cantrell - Hurt a Long Time
135. Roger Waters - Hey You
136. Joni Mitchell - Raised on Robbery
137. Ray Davies - Sunny Afternoon
138. Paul Simon - Train in the Distance
139. Bono - Bullet in the Blue Sky
140. John Lennon - Jealous Guy
141. Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier
142. Pete Townshend - My Generation
143. Eddie Vedder - Corduroy
144. Don Henley - Hotel California
145. Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven
146. Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London
147. Jackson Browne - Before the Deluge
148. Morrissey - Suffer Little Children
149. Elvis Costello - Oliver's Army
150. Thom Yorke - Karma Police
151. Eddie Vedder - Immortality
152. Trent Reznor - Closer
153. George Harrison - Within You Without You
154. Bono - Where the Streets Have No Name
155. Joe Strummer - London Calling
156. Bernie Taupin - Your Song
157. Jerry Cantrell - Rooster
158. Jim Croce - Operator
159. Maynard James Keenan - Weak and Powerless
160. Neil Peart - Subdivisions
161. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
162. Ben Harper - Excuse Me Mr.
163. Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
164. Jerry Cantrell - Don't Follow
165. Beres Hammond - What a Life
166. Robbie Robertson - The Weight
167. Maynard James Keenan - The Grudge
168. Neil Young - After the Goldrush
169. John Lennon - In My Life
170. Cat Stevens - Father and Son
171. Roger Waters - Comfortably Numb
172. Bob Dylan - Mr. Tambourine Man
173. Lou Reed - The Black Angel's Death Song
174. Nick Drake - Parasite
175. Bob Marley - Babylon System
176. J. Strummer/M. Jones - The Prisoner
177. Maynard James Keenan - H.
178. Paul Simon - Bridge Over Troubled Water
179. Morrissey - I Know It's Over
180. Pete Townshend - Sally Simpson
181. Neil Young - Powderfinger
182. James Taylor - Fire and Rain
183. B. Wilson/T. Asher - God Only Knows
184. Pete Townshend - Behind Blue Eyes
185. Ray Davies - Days
186. Neil Young - Needle and the Damage Done
187. Roger Waters - Wish You Were Here
188. Otis Redding - Coffee and Cigarettes
189. Jim Morrison - The Movie
190. Eddie Vedder - I Am Mine
191. Frank Zappa - Muffin Man
192. Pete Townshend - Baba O'Riley
193. Van Morrison - Moondance
194. Bruce Springsteen - Lost in the Flood
195. Justin Hayward - Tuesday Afternoon
196. Chris Cornell - Say Hello 2 Heaven
197. Holland/Dozier/Holland - Bernadette
198. Paul Simon - The Dangling Conversation
199. Paul McCartney - The Long and Winding Road
200. Morrissey - There's A Light That Never Goes Out

201. Lou Reed - Andy's Chest
202. Bruce Springsteen - State Trooper
203. Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode
204. Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
205. Pete Townshend - Pinball Wizard
206. J. Strummer/M. Jones - Gates of the West
207. Neil Young - Ohio
208. Bono - One
209. Joe Strummer - Washington Bullets
210. Justin Hayward - Question
211. Neil Young - Old Man
212. Joe Strummer - Something About England
213. Brian Wilson - Meet Me In My Dream Tonight
214. George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
215. Kurt Cobain - Heart Shaped Box
216. Thom Yorke - Street Spirit
217. Don McLean - The Grave
218. Harry Chapin - Cats in the Cradle
219. John Lennon - Mind Games
220. Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat
221. Neil Peart - Something For Nothing
222. Roger Waters - Run Like Hell
223. Jerry Cantrell - Down In A Hole
224. Kurt Cobain - Lithium
225. Jim Morrison - Celebration of the Lizard
226. Mick Jagger - Dead Flowers
227. David Crosby - Wooden Ships
228. John Lennon - I am the Walrus
229. Bruce Springsteen - My Home Town
230. Pete Townshend - Substitute
231. Bob Dylan - Everything is Broken
232. Ray Davies - Celluloid Heroes
233. Kevin Moore - Space Dye Vest
234. Nick Lowe - Peace, Love, and Understanding
235. Bob Marley - I Shot the Sheriff
236. Keith Richards - Wild Horses
237. Bob Dylan - License to Kill
238. Otis Redding - Dreams To Remember
239. Bruce Springsteen - Streets of Philadelphia
240. Roger Waters - Shine On You Crazy Diamond
241. Mick Jagger - Gimme Shelter
242. Jim Morrison - Peace Frog
243. Leonard Cohen - Bird on a Wire
244. Jimi Hendrix - Castles Made of Sand
245. Tom Waits - Blind Love
246. Eddie Vedder - Jeremy
247. Billy Corgan - Disarm
248. Ben Harper - Another Lonely Day
249. Mick Jagger - Paint It Black
250. Leonard Cohen - Avalanche
251. Jim Morrison - Rider's On the Storm
252. Ray Davies - Lola
253. Warren Zevon - Genius
254. Mick Jagger - Mother's Little Helper
255. Micheal Stipe - Everybody Hurts
256. Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
257. Paul McCartney - Fool on the Hill
258. Warren Zevon - Porcelain Monkey
259. Tom Waits - Downtown Train
260. David Bowie - Space Oddity
261. Thom Yorke - Subterranean Homesick Alien
262. Neil Young - Pocahontas
263. Tom Petty - A Woman In Love
264. Bruce Springsteen - The Promise
265. Eddie Vedder - Love Boat Captain
266. Ian Curtis - Passover
267. Nick Cave - Red Right Hand
268. Elvis Costello - Less Than Zero
269. Bob Dylan - Hard Rains Gonna Fall
270. Stephen Stills - Treetop Flier
271. David Gilmour - High Hopes
272. Elvis Costello - I Hope You're Happy Now
273. Bob Marley - Waiting In Vain
274. W. Zevon/H. S. Thompson - You're a Whole Different Person When Your Scared
275. Nick Cave - Babe I'm the One On Fire
276. Tom Petty - It's Good To Be King
277. Tom Waits - Jesus Gonna Be Here
278. Wilson/Asher/Love - Wouldn't It Be Nice
279. Ben Harper - Give a Man a Home
280. Neil Young - Southern Man
281. John Ondrasik - Superman (It's Not Easy)
282. John Lennon - Strawberry Fields Forever
283. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town
284. Eddie Vedder - Thumbing My Way
285. Neil Young - Hey Hey, My My
286. John Fogerty - A Hundred and Ten in the Shade
287. John Lodge - Evening: Time to Get Away
288. Paul McCartney - For No One
289. Trent Reznor - The Becoming
290. Elvis Costello - Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
291. Jerry Cantrell - Brother
292. Tom Waits - The Piano Has Been Drinking
293. Chris Cornell - Outshined
294. Robert Smith - Lullaby
295. Anthony Kiedis - Californication
296. David Bowie - Life on Mars
297. Neil Young - Sugar Mountain
298. J. Strummer/M. Jones - The Card Cheat
299. John Fogerty - Premonition
300. Ben Gibbard - We Looked Like Giants

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
John Lennon
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder





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