Ranking the Rock Writers Book

From Paula Abdul to Warren Zevon, “Rock Around The Clock” to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”…and everything in between.

“Ranking the Rock Writers” is a reference book written by Bill Carroll. The book is 902 pages and is the first systematic bottom-up look at the writers of the rock era (1955-1991) using publicly available information including copyrights, royalty rights, labels, and crowd-sourced databases. The huge dataset includes 24,426 songs, 11,834 writers, and 10,773 writer teams. Each song is scored, then the score is allocated to the writers to rank each writer and writer team in the era.

Bill Carroll, Ph.D. Adjunct Chemistry Professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, lives in Dallas, TX. Bill has been President and Chair of the Board of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest single-discipline scientific professional organization with over 150,000 members.

In 2015, Bill retired after a 37-year career in the industry and now spends his time as a globally recognized industrial chemistry consultant[1] through his company, Carroll Applied Science, LLC. However, his first love for 60 years has been the pop charts. As an author of peer-reviewed articles, the massive “Ranking the Rock Writers”, and co-author with Dann Isbell of the highly-rated “Ranking the ‘70s”, he is fulfilling his dream of applying science-based data analytics[2] to popular music. Ranking the Albums is his latest book.

Before there is a record….there is a song. The writers finally have their day in the sun, thanks to Bill Carroll. His love for music is matched only by his tenacity and we get to reap the benefit of that union. This book is a most unique compendium and Bill is the only guy on Earth who would undertake such a project. This one is a keeper on my bookshelf.

Lou Simon – Sirius/XM “The Diner”

The book has two major indexes. All the songs: Title, Act, Label, Number, where they charted, earliest entry, and highest peak. Other song characteristics are noted: instrumentals, whether words and music have separate writers; songs that originated in a foreign language and were translated or given new English lyrics, and more. All the writers: Each song attributed to them, is listed in order of chart strength.

It Includes These Fun Lists
  • Top 2000 Writer teams with their songs
  • Top 200 Writers and Writer Teams with their first and biggest songs
  • Top 100 Writers and Writer Teams in each decade by Score and
    number of charted hits
  • Top 750 Acts and the writers who supported them
  • Top 100 songs by one, two, and three writer teams
  • Top 150 songs by score, counting all charted versions
  • A unique timeline for each of the Top 30 Writer Teams showing each hit by chart strength and entry date and a brief narrative about their chart performance.

“A must-have for music lovers, proving what I’ve always said: The pen is mightier than the chord!”

Rich Appell – Host / Producer

Question: Who were the top five writer teams?

Answer: Easy to find in the numerically ranked Writer Team Index. Lennon-McCartney, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Bacharach-David, Jagger-Richards, and Gibb-Gibb-Gibb. Also, check the “Top 30 Writer Teams in Words, Charts, and Graphs” section for more analytics and stories.

  1. An industrial chemistry consultant is a professional who provides specialized expertise and advice in the field of industrial chemistry. They assist companies and organizations in solving complex chemical-related challenges, optimizing processes, improving efficiency, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. Industrial chemistry consultants possess in-depth knowledge of chemical principles, laboratory techniques, and industrial processes, enabling them to analyze and troubleshoot chemical operations. They may offer guidance on areas such as chemical synthesis, quality control, product development, waste management, and environmental sustainability. By leveraging their expertise, these consultants help businesses make informed decisions, enhance their operations, and achieve their goals in a competitive marketplace. [Back]
  2. Science-based data analytics refers to the application of scientific principles, methodologies, and techniques to analyze and derive meaningful insights from large datasets. It involves the use of statistical analysis, machine learning, data mining, and visualization tools to uncover patterns, trends, correlations, and predictive models from diverse scientific domains. By employing rigorous scientific methods, data analytics can provide valuable information for decision-making, problem-solving, and optimization in various fields such as healthcare, finance, marketing, and environmental research. It enables organizations to leverage the power of data to gain a deeper understanding of complex phenomena, make evidence-based decisions, and drive innovation. [Back]

Further Reading


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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