SANTERS – Racing Time ; The Definitive Remasters Series (2019)
SANTERS, one of the very best bands that came out of Toronto in the early ’80s, finally are getting official remastered reissues of their albums. Few weeks ago appeared what I would consider their best album, “Racing Time“, their second LP which was originally released in 1982.
Upon listening I can tell you the improvement with this remaster is very noticeable, sounding big and fuzzy.
Santers, comprised of brothers Rick and Mark Santers (guitar/vocals and drums/vocals respectively) and bassist Rick Lazaroff was founded in 1980. While Rick had by this time already gained a reputation as one of Toronto’s hottest young guitarists, Mark was enjoying similar notoriety as a drummer. They recruited bassist Rick Lazaroff after placing an ad in a local newspaper.
The three quickly became one of the hottest commodities on the scene, touring extensively for the next year and a half throughout Ontario, Quebec and the East-Central US. They found time to record demos of some songs Rick had written and entered “Time After Time” in a local radio station contest, and was featured on their compilation album later that year.
They were signed to Ready Records in 1981, releasing their debut LP that summer. Their stripped-down ‘melody-metal’ sound found success as well in small pockets across Europe, including France, Spain and The Netherlands.
The band began a rugged schedule touring the majority of Canada and the US for the next year, hooking up with some of rock’s biggest road shows, including Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions.
Following a short break the band found themselves back at Toronto’s Phase One Studios working on the next album. As advance, an EP was released including some live tracks taped to showcase Santers’ hot sound on stage.
With famed Jack Richardson producing (most notable for his work with The Guess Who), this second album “Racing Time” was in the stores in time for the 1982 Xmas rush.
With a more melodic hard rock approach in the American / Canadian 1982-1983 stylings, among my favorite numbers here there’s the heavily-charged keyboard “Mistreatin’ Heart” with some AOR touches, the proto pop metal “Winter Freeze”, the catchy title-track, the driving beat of “A Dog Without A Home” where Rick employs a talk box to growl out the guitar solo.
A very special tune and typical of the time is “Mystical Eyes”, with the Roland Super Jupiter synthesizer used to enhance the grand intro, also heard during “Back Streets”. Love this kinda stuff.
Distribution of the album expanded to include more of Europe, Australia & Japan, and Santers played all over Canada, America, and for the first time, overseas, when they toured England.
“Racing Time” never was properly / officially remastered until now, handled by Santers’ bros themselves. A really good slice of first half of the ’80s melodic hard rock with that ‘magic’ sound.
01 – Mistreatin’ Heart (Remastered)
02 – Mystical Eyes (Remastered)
03 – Still I Am (Remastered)
04 – A Dog Without a Home (Remastered)
05 – Road to Morocco (Remastered)
06 – Two Against the World (Remastered)
07 – Back Streets (Remastered)
08 – Winter Freeze (Remastered)
09 – Hard Time Lovin’ You (Remastered)
10 – Racing Time (Remastered)
Rick Santers – lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards
Rick Lazaroff – bass
Mark Santers – drums, percussion, background vocals