In 1978 keyboardist Patrick Leonard and vocalist Dennis “Fergie” Frederiksen and a small handful of other musicians formed Trillion. Recorded in the studios at the Caribou Ranch owned by former Chicago producer, James William Guercio, in remote Nederland, Colorado their debut album hearkens back to a different era. Their brand of hard rock is strongly reminiscent of much of the better work of Blue Oyster Cult.
Frederiksen’s tweeter-scorching tenor graces all but one track on the 8 song release. The album starts with a bang on Hold Out with Fergie not only contributing vocals but also playing the tubular bells. Tubular bells?!?! Yes, oddly enough, tubular bells being used in 70s hard rock. The bells are subtle and you may not even notice them at first listen but they accent the song nicely.
Hold Out segues into Big Boy which has a very similar vibe. Both tracks have catchy grooves fun to tap on your steering wheel or coffee table to.
For all its cheese glory, Give Me Your Money, Honey is a regrettably catchy song… Regrettably catchy because, really, you don’t want to be caught dead singing it to yourself in public… but after only a few listens, unfortunately you may find yourself doing just that.
You Never Had It So Good will never win any awards for having clever lyrics. But it has a rather enjoyable guitar solo by Frank Barbalace and Fergie has the kind of voice that could make even the yellow pages sound compelling.
While his keyboard/synthesizer theatrics are present on all the songs on the album, Patrick Leonard’s keyboard playing is most evident on May As Well Go.
The whole album is enjoyable and fun, it doesn’t take itself seriously (unless you consider a song titled Fancy Action to be high-art that is), but perhaps what makes this album so enjoyable is knowing that vocalist Fergie Frederiksen would go on to sing lead for bayou rockers, LeRoux, and south California studio rockers, Toto. And Patrick Leonard would go on to produce the likes of Madonna, Peter Cetera, and Michael W. Smith… not to mention was ½ of the sadly overlooked and critically acclaimed, Toy Matinee with the late Kevin Gilbert.
While their musical seeds weren’t sown until later, this album shows where Frederiksen and Leonard’s musical seeds were initially planted and where they initially cut their musical teeth.