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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Trillion - 1979 Trillion
Trillion - 1979 Trillion

ARTIST: Trillion
ALBUM: Trillion
SERIAL: JE 35460
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY067


LINEUP: Dennis Fredericksen - vocals * Frank Barbalace - guitars, vocals * Ron Anaman - bass, vocals * Patrick Leonard - keyboards * Bill Wilkins - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hold Out * 02 Big Boy * 03 Give Me Your Money Honey * 04 Never Had It So Good * 05 May As Well Go * 06 Fancy Action * 07 Hand It To The Wind * 08 Bright Night Lights * 09 Child Upon The Earth


Trillion are a band easily associated with the melodic rock movement for several reasons. As a lead-in, this is what was said on the bio-sheet which came with the LP: 'Collectively, Trillion is a group of superbly skilled and remarkable inventive musicians who have deverloped a tremendously powerful sound characterized by tightly arranged and consistently melodic songs, performed with all the instrumental and vocal flash of major British bands such as Queen, Genesis, Yes and Supertramp and combined with the fundamental rock 'n' roll power of American counterparts Kansas, Styx and Journey.' With that introduction, I guess it gives you an idea what direction they were coming from. Talking of direction, Trillion hail from Chicago, and like fellow Windy City residents Styx, found the late seventies scene to their liking.

The Songs
For the debut, which was recorded in Colorado with Gary Lyons (Foreigner, Queen, Crawler etc) at the helm, the band set about reproducing their version of 'commercial pomp' for want of a better phrase. If you like multi-part harmonies like Queen and Yes then this band will appeal to you. Whether it's long-flowing moments like 'Child Upon The Earth' or sharp snappy bursts like 'Never Had It So Good', there's something here for everyone. The punctuated moments of 'Fancy Action' combined with the straight-ahead but regimented approach of 'Hold Out' ensure there is contrast throughout.

In Summary
For album number two 'Clear Approach' released in 1980, Fredericksen had departed for L.A (later to join Toto and Le Roux), with replacement Thom Griffin joining the fold. That album was decidedly softer, but the climate had changed, and Trillion's brand of rock was no longer in favor - so only the two Trillion albums were the by-product of 3-4 years together. Leonard went on to become Madonna's right-hand man, also turning up in Toy Matinee and Third Matinee, while Barbalace went on to join Chicago area band Wild Blue who released the AOR/pop release 'No More Jinx'. While Trillion's follow-up album received a CD reissue back in 2008, it wasn't until 2010 that this album also received a digital update thanks to premiere reissue label Rock Candy Records. Pick it up before it becomes a scarcity.

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#1 | rostoned on June 28 2008 19:12:56
Very very good pomp rock but imho the follow up is much better and classier. US promotional copies were issued on blue vinyl.
#2 | Carl Noonan on February 10 2010 19:21:13
Brilliant album and the remaster is stunning. Clear Approach is even better songwise and as good as Fergie is, Thom Griffin's performance on the 2nd album was simply sensational.
These 2 albums are essential listening. The good news is that they are have some new songs available via their website and they carry on with the quality.
#3 | Nick C on February 14 2010 08:36:40
Top album and I actually prefer this to Clear Approach. I always loved the sleeve as well.
#4 | trillion1999 on October 12 2011 17:34:35
Love this beyond sanity.Music,sleeve and everything.All of it is perfection of the most immaculate kind.Reason for my love
#5 | super80boy on December 30 2013 17:51:28
Big pompous melodies are done to great effect on this excellent debut. The tempo change ups and guitar soloing on 'Bright Night Light' and 'Never Had It So Good' are quality stuff. The sound effects at the end of the epic 'Child Upon The Earth' are cool and then the cheesy but quite catchy lyrical content on 'Give Me Your Money Honey' is just glorious. On to check out their sophomore offering…
#6 | richardb on January 01 2016 20:54:18
After all these years, I still can't make up my mind which I prefer the debut, or 'Clear approach'. I prefer Thom Griffin's vocals, though the debut contained some magical moments, 'Hold out' and 'Big Boy' being prime examples of overblown pomp rock..
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