Before I clicked on the link, I thought of the songwriter I would recommend. I have to say Willie Nelson for two reasons: "Crazy" and "You Were Always on My Mind." I mean, this guy has written for Elvis and Patsy Cline, to name a few.
As it turned out, he didn't even crack the Top Ten! Here they are:
9. Joni Mitchell
8. Elvis Costello
7. Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys)
6. Leonard Cohen
5. Paul McCartney (The Beatles, Wings)
4. Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan
3. Bruce Springsteen
2. Neil Young (Buffalo Sprinfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
1. Bob Dylan
For the record, ole Willie was #12, right after Paul Simon.
I'm sorry, but the above list is a reach. I would keep Springsteen, Mitchell, Dylan and McCartney (who could argue with him at #1?)
Prince? Come on, "Purple Rain" had a melody that I played my 2nd week in piano lessons.
Granted, my knowledge of Neil Young came in the years after he lost his ability to actually carry a tune on a record.
Gravelly voiced Tom Waits--I hardly know him.
Leonard Cohen might belong here, I don't know. I'm usually too busy kissing my true love when his music is playing, so I'm not familiar with his use of chord structure or wordplay.
Elvis Costello is a cool singer, but I can name exactly ZERO songs that he has written.