James Hetfield

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James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

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If anyone on this list actually heard him play hard wasn't playing his usual backup, Then he would have made the list. I've heard him let loose and he's one hell of a guitar player. Remember, its not about how fast you can play, its about what you play and how intricate it is. Not only did he write most of the riffs for his music but he has an agreement with his manager that he MUST be recorded whenever he picks up a guitar, because of his creativity and natural talent he always comes up with new material every time he plays.

Metallica is awesome in anyway however live is where I think of judging talent. I will tie Hetfield & Hammett. You can write all the songs you want however if the musicians cannot breathe life in it. If this was a writing & playing based question it might be Hetfield & Mustaine as they do double duty and excel. I just wished questions could be answered without tearing down other guitarist. All these guitarists can rock the roof off so the order I do not care as much. They are all top 10.

James should be first! His writing skill mixed with his influential style is incredible. This guy is a legend, not to mention that he's my idol. I like Kirk and James, but James should be above Kirk. He was pretty young when he wrote his amazing albums like Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and... And Justice for All. The Black ALbum was great too. All of Metallica is great. Metallica = best band ever, and James is the main master behind it. James should be number 1.

Sure, James doesn't play as much complex stuff as Kirk, but he has the harder job of singing and playing rhythm guitar, and playing solos every once in a while, so James & Kirk are even. I would speculate that James is better with singing and playing mostly shown in "The Day That Never Comes" & "Am I Savage? ", while Kirk has the upper hand in solos, in songs such as "Blackened," "...And Justice For All," & "All Nightmare Long"

One of the most important figures in metal history right there with iommi, hetfield and Ulrich changed the face of metal and along with slayer, anthrax and megadeth. Unfortunately hetfield does not perform solos.. But his rhythm, singing, influence, and legacy bring him to make it on this lust. Now some ask why James and Dave made this list and not kirk. The reason behind that is kirk is terrible. He overbends, plays off tempo, and out of key often enough that I think he deserves to be on the 10 worst metal guitarists list.

Listen to Metallica, what do you love abut 'em? The riffs, not the solos. Yeah, maybe in Ride The Lightning or Master of Puppets Kirk does a good work, but listen to The Thing That Should Not Be, please, the solo is horrible, while the riff is AWESOME, like in 99% of Metallica's songs. (I'm talking about before Load albums, from Kill 'Em All to Metallica, the black album, how do you like to say)

If this list is about metal guitarist, not metal 'solo guitarist', James truly deserved a higher place. Hell, who can beat him in rhythm guitar? He is an all rounder genius. I'm a Metallica fan but in my humble opinion Kirk doesn't deserved the top spot. He should be place below Hetfield and Mustaine. - Pyansickness

James deserves to be higher on this list maybe number 2 because without James no Metallica period. I mean he wrote all the good guitar parts in Metallica Kirk is good but just at solos he couldn't write a great riff to save his life,

James is significantly better than Kirk or Dave. Frankly, playing Fade to black, or One, or Master live the way he does, while singing, is incredible. Dave and Kirk are both great, and faster than James, but James makes the best music.

He's just the best guitarist plus vocalist. He also writes the majority of the guitar harmonies, as well as writing the lyrics, vocal melodies, and co-arranging the songs with Ulrich. James Alan Hetfield is a Legend.

Honestly, I think the only part of Metallica that isn't overrated is their bassists and some of their songs (Some does not mean all). Cliff Burton was the only reason I actually still listen to Metallica, since Hetfield's voice has gotten really bad and Kirk is really dependent on that wah of his. Plus, not only does Lars Ulrich suck at drums, he is a huge dick (probably compensating). However, I think James is actually a better songwritter and guitarist that Kirk, since he writes it all. That is his credit. - bighercules

James can play... Sometimes it's not about the speed or the big names.. But for James he has evolved as a musician and singer... He is a co founder of Metallica and he writes the riffs and sings like a boss... So yeah

James should be in number 1 or 2... James is the main man of Metallica he has wrote all the songs except for anesthesia pulling teeth. He is far more better that kirk hammett and equal to mustaine in rhythm...

James is incredible. Have you heard the rhythm part on seek and destroy solo, the lead on the first solo for master of puppets. Have you played creeping death on guitar? I have and it deserves respect.

Greatest metal philosopher, greatest rhythm guitarist, greatest lyricist, greatest presence, greatest leader of the greatest band of the greatest metal genre of all time.

You cannot compare james with any other band's rhythm guitarist no one in the world can play fast and sing at a time like he do lots of love to him

It's him or Kirk, and I can't decide. James wins for creating memorable riffs that will be remembered for decades. I mean, master of puppets, come on! genius

neither kirk or deva are better tham him he makes those 2 what they are he is a better musician and song writer by far that anyone in metal
- mevichoca

Has anybody even heard the justice album its good riffs and heavy as hell and james wrote that stuff mostly so he needs to be #1

This is not fair at all. James a place in the top 5. He writes and creates all the riffs of the songs of Metallica.

Unbelievable! This guy should be number 1! Kirk hammett is good, dave mustaine is better but hetfield is god!

Actually kirk helped write the guitar solos and wrote a lot of the guitar riffs including the creeping death part but ya know

James Hetfield is God, He should me number one. Alex Skolnick & Rob Cavestany should be in the top 5!

One cannot ignore this talent. He's the mastermind of Metallica. MR. PERFECT

Kirk always plays the same riff with James and wrote the main riff for Creeping Death at 16.

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