1. Green Day
A little bit under half of Green Day’s songs are written as a unit, where as the %60 are written solely by Billie Joe Armstrong. Hits written solely by Billie Joe include “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”, “Basket Case”, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, “Brain Stew”, “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”, & much much more. Hits written by all band members include “Holiday”, “Waiting”, “21 Guns”, “Jesus Of Suburbia”, & others. When the band works as a unit in songwriting – Billie Joe writes the lyrics, melody, & guitar parts. Mike Dirnt writes the bassline. Tre Cool writes the drumfills. I can’t name a single Green Day song that’s lyrics weren’t written solely by Billie Joe Armstrong.
2. Counting Crows
About %90 of Counting Crows work, they all wrote together as a unit. However, similarly to Green Day – no lyrics were made by any members other than frontman Adam Duritz. Guess I better change the name to ‘10 Greatest Rock Bands Who Regularly Worked As A Unit In Composing’, huh? Or who regularly helped out in composition….
3. Pearl Jam
Just like the Crows and Green Day, Pearl Jam’s members typically each wrote their own parts. Vedder wrote the lyrics, melody. McCready wrote the lead guitar. Gossard wrote the rhythm guitar. Ament wrote the basslines. Cameron wrote the drum sections. Some PJ songs are written solely by Vedder. Not many. No songs include any other members writing lyrics. Plenty of people such as Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, who don’t play drums or other instruments still write the drum parts/other instrument parts due to the sound they want. And they want to be called ‘The Boss’, like Springsteen…
4. Stone Temple Pilots
Typically, but not always – STP composed the songs together. Scott wrote the words and the melody. Dean wrote the guitar parts. Robert wrote the basslines. Eric wrote the drum sections. Occasionally, other members pitched in on lyrics. But it was rare. In fact, the only I can think of that was a hit right off the top of my head like that was 1992’s ‘Creep’. In which Robert wrote the “This I feel as the dawn it fades to grey”. To add on to Weiland’s chorus he wrote, so it wouldn’t sound empty. Then again, that’s only one lyric. But a fairly major one I suppose.
This legendary Irish quartet did it the same as everyone else before them on this list. The frontman Bono wrote the lyrics and melody, guitarist The Edge wrote the guitar, bassist Adam Clayton wrote the bass, & drummer Larry Mullen Jr. wrote the drums. On random occasions, other members helped with lyrical writings – but not often. They did however regularly work as a unit when it came down to composing the music.
6. Dave Matthews Band
Under half the time, DMB worked as a unit in composing. But most of the time Dave wrote all the music and all the words, telling them what he wanted it to sound like. But at the same time – they did regularly write their own parts. As in, each member at some point or another on pretty much every record wrote the part to their instrument. Almost every album, for a song at least.
7. The Beatles
While the four of them rarely ever wrote lyrics together, it is the only band on the list I can think of so far where all the members had played a major part in actually writing the songs and lyrics. Each member wrote their own songs solely by themselves, and sung them too. That’s the only band on this list I can think of like that…
8. The Rolling Stones
Typically, each member wrote the part to their instrument. If there’s a Stones song out there where the lyrics weren’t written by Mick Jagger and/or Brian Jones, I don’t what it is…
Each member of Queen solely wrote at least one hit. They also worked together regularly on lyrics, and writing the part to their own instrument. Them and The Beatles worked together the most.
10. The Police
Legendary trio where each member usually wrote their own part. But the other members other than lead singer Sting pitched in with lyrics regularly. Sting wrote the basslines and words, Andy Summers wrote the guitar and helped with the lyrics, & Stewart Copeland wrote the drums and often helped with Summers an Sting’s word workings.