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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Amulet - 1980 Amulet
Amulet - 1980 Amulet

ARTIST: Amulet
ALBUM: Amulet
LABEL: Shadow Records
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2000, Monster Records, MCD003


LINEUP: Clif Hill - vocals * Bob Becker - guitars * Paul Skelton - bass * John Becker - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just Like A Woman * 02 Sea Of Fear * 03 Do You Live Again * 04 Kings & Queens * 05 Person To Person * 06 Funk N Punk * 07 Gemini * 08 Life Is Living * 09 New Day

Not to be confused with a bunch of Norwegian hardcore losers also with the same name, Amulet were a late 70's hard rock band from the barren wasteland of Evansville, Indiana, who made a brief stir with their Van Halen inspired brand of rock during their short existence. Amulet (apparently meaning some kind of mystical talisman) cut their teeth playing cover versions of band like UFO and ZZ Top and made such an impression they were soon a hot item in the midwest rock scene, which was no joke in the 70's. This was recorded on a shoestring budget live in the studio and it shows. The band claims this is what they sounded like in a live setting therefore, but even they would have to concede the sound was too thin and underdone. Lead single 'Just Like A Woman' made a dent locally, but sadly for Amulet things did not progress much further.

The Songs
This is a storming album despite the production. It's obvious everyone here had been listening closely to Van Halen and 'Just Like A Woman' could be off either 'Van Halen' or 'II'. That's the exact sound. There's the odd piece of fantasy metal, with 'Sea Of Fear' and its opening riff, an obvious take on Heart's 'Barracuda', chugging along nicely. 'Do You Live Again' is a stab at Zeppelin's best epics and the dungeons and dragons theme is heard yet again on 'Kings and Queens', with lyrics about radiation indicating the holocaust theme. More Van Halen inspired party metal can be heard during 'Person To Person', and 'Funk To Punk' has Hill copying Steven Tyler perfectly to a funk backing, which gives this track 'novelty' status, borrowing 'Walk This Way's riff too. The rest of the album is more of the same, with the Tyler and David Lee Roth impersonations maybe too overbearing, as are the riffs, which see Becker doing his best to emulate Eddie Van Halen's guitar tone.

In Summary
Initial copies of the album flew out the door but Amulet found it impossible to convince a major label that they had anything to offer. Bob Becker says in the CD reissue notes that Atlantic Records showed interest in signing Amulet in 1981, but by then the band no longer got along with each other so split before they could take up the offer. Amulet reformed in 2000 when this was initially released on CD by Monster, but whether anything new surfaced I am unable to find out. The debut has been a favourite among rare rock buffs for sometime and for good reason, although it isn't one to fawn over by any means.

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#1 | gdazegod on June 03 2008 08:47:15
Actually Evansville Indiana wasn't that much of a wasteland Alun. It did spawn the careers of the bands TAMI SHOW and I think possibly also PEZBAND, though Eric might want to clarify the latter.. lol!
#2 | Eric on June 03 2008 13:18:14
I've been to Evansville once, in the mid-80's and the same night Foreinger and Giuffria were playing the local arena and I couldn't get a ticket! It seemed a nice place but kind of faceless which I think Alun meant. Anyway, Pezband were from Oak Park, Illinois just outside Chicago. Evansville is where Jim Dandy of Black Oak discovered Ruby Starr in a local club and as they say, the rest is southern rock history...
#3 | Harvey Mettle on June 06 2008 16:56:15
The 1980 original issue of this was on Shadow Records.
#4 | LadybugOfBlueness on April 14 2010 06:30:36
Actually, Amulet never reformed in 2000. The album got reissued, but the band never got back together. Also, there's no new material, unfortunately.

You said you were unable to find out, so I just thought I'd let you know. Smile
#5 | windsofmarch on June 01 2012 09:14:26
Rural melodic hard rock with some AOR,pomp and Proghere and there.Amulet followed a pattern similar to Full Moon or Oda.A very good record to my ears.
#6 | super80boy on February 17 2014 23:00:48
I'm lucky to have an original vinyl copy of this marvelous album. There's no telling what heights these guys could have gone to if that Atlantic deal had materialized as this private press album is just as good as the mainstream commercial acts of the day. It's hyped in underground/private hard rock collecting circles for good reasons.
#7 | gdazegod on May 07 2014 01:37:25
I gave this a listen today, it's pretty good. The Van Halen comparison is dead-on. Really likeable early 80's melodic hard rock.
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